Your Guide to Earth Day Events and Volunteering Around Philly

From volunteering to shopping to kids’ activities, there’s something for everyone looking to celebrate and protect our planet.

Earth Day volunteering with PHS in philadelphia

PHS is hosting Earth Day volunteer opportunities with the goal to plant 1,500 trees. / Photograph courtesy of Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

Earth Day is Friday, April 22nd, and there are plenty of ways to celebrate around town. From sustainability-focused organizations to volunteer with to interactive, kid-friendly parties to toast to the planet, we’ve rounded up ways you can help make Philly a little greener this week.

Drexel Earthfest

Drexel’s free annual Earth Day block party takes place along Lancaster Walk, and includes games, giveaways, food, a tree-planting ceremony, clothing swap, biking resources, and information and demonstrations from organizations focused on environmental sustainability.
April 19th, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Drexel University (Lancaster Walk and the Gateway Garden, spanning 32nd and 34th streets and Market and Arch streets).

Earth Day Children’s Read-Aloud at Brandywine River Museum

Part of Longwood Gardens’ Community Read program, the Brandywine River Museum hostsmorning story time and craft for young children and their families. First, listen to We Planted a Tree, then find nature-themed art in the galleries and go outside to explore native trees and plants. The morning will conclude with a nature-themed craft to complete and take home. Advance registration is required online. The event is free for members, and $5 for non-members.
April 21st, 10:30 a.m., Brandywine River Museum of Art, 1 Hoffman’s Mill Road, Chadds Ford.

Earth Day Festival at Academy of Natural Sciences

The museum will stay open late with pay-what-you-wish admission for a special night of science programming and conservation discussions. Academy scientists, as well as local sustainability experts from around the city, will be on-site to answer questions about their work and how you can help improve the planet. There will also be hands-on activities for kids and adults to enjoy. Plus, you can sip craft beers under a giant T.Rex! That’s right: 12th Street Catering will be providing drinks and snacks for sale in Dinosaur Hall. Plus, you have access to the entire museum, including the new deep-sea exhibit. Advance registration is recommended but not required.
April 22nd, 4-8 p.m., Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Fishtown Neighbors Association Earth Day

Pitch in to help the neighborhood with trash cleanup or a “kindness rocks” art project. Plus, at 11 a.m. at Crease Street Garden, there will be mindfulness sessions for teens and adults, and a reading of The Lorax for kids. Sign up online to register for the cleanup; trash grabbers, brooms, and trash bags will be distributed at Fishtown Rec Center on the morning of April 19th so you can head out and clean on the 23rd — then return your supplies by noon and mark off the streets you cleaned. The rest of the day’s activities do not require pre-registration.
April 23rd, 9 a.m.-noon, Fishtown Rec Center, 1235 East Palmer Street, and throughout the neighborhood.

Naturepalooza at the Schuylkill Center

The Schuylkill Center’s annual, all-ages Earth Day celebration includes nature hikes, food trucks, and craft and activity tables, including a participatory art project. Plus, the Billy Jonas Band will provide live music using recycled and found objects. Free; online registration (and optional donation) encouraged.
April 23rd, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy’s Mill Road. 

Earth Day Open House and Tree Planting at Riverbend

At this family-focused event, guests to the environmental education center can tour their re-opened aquaponics greenhouse, enjoy some refreshments and visit animal ambassadors including snakes, treefrogs, turtles, geckos and hissing cockroaches. Then, families will take an easy hike up the up the Valley View Trail to plant a tree together. Guests are welcome to explore the trails around Riverbend on their own before departing the preserve. Pre-register online ($25 per family helps support Riverbend by offsetting the cost of trees and staffing). Tools will be provided; bring your own work gloves and water.
April 23rd, 10 a.m.-noon, Riverbend Environmental Education Center, 1950 Spring Mill Road, Gladwyne.

Earth Day Activities at Tyler Arboretum

Tyler Arboretum has lined up two family-friendly activities to celebrate Earth Day on April 23rd. Little ones (ages 4-7) and their grownups can join Miss Louisa for stories about bats, followed by puppet craft. Kids ages 6-12 (with an adult) will learn about the journey from caterpillar to butterfly in an interactive outdoor lesson. Pre-registration is required online for each event in your desired timeslot.
April 23rd, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Tyler Arboretum, 515 Painter Road, Media.

Kids@Play at Gold Star Park

Kids can join the Geography Lady for story time, plus decorate containers and plant seeds to take home.
April 23rd, 10 a.m.-noon, Gold Star Park, 613 Wharton Street.

Elmwood Park Zoo’s Party for the Planet

Zoo attendees can participate in demonstrations and education stations featuring animals, recycling, sustainable living and more. Eco-friendly items will also be available to purchase from vendors throughout the zoo. Free with zoo admission.
April 23rd and 24th, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Elmwood Park Zoo, 1661 Harding Boulevard, Norristown.

Bee Our Guest will sell reusable beeswax wraps at the Sustainability Market on Cherry Street Pier / Photograph courtesy of Feminist Flea Market & Craft Fair

A Sustainable Marketplace at Cherry Street Pier

Curated by Feminist Flea Market and sustainable fashion brand Grant Blvd (and sponsored by The Rounds), over 40 local vendors will showcase ethically-produced wares and artworks — featuring plant-dyed natural fibers, handmade paper, repurposed thrift store finds, and more eco-friendly methods. A suggested $5 entry fee will support The Urban Creators, a North Philadelphia-focused non-profit organization that uses art, education, agriculture and food to empower neighbors with projects like the Life Do Grow Farm. Masks are required for entry.
April 23rd, noon-7 p.m., Cherry Street Pier, 121 North Columbus Boulevard.

Penn State Master Gardener Plant Sale and Garden Day

If you’re looking to make your life greener, visit the Fairmount Park Horticulture Center to shop hundreds of varieties of plants, and stick around for the activities. The day is free and includes tours of the greenhouse and Master Gardener gardens (including a pollinator garden and the Food Forest in partnership with the Philadelphia Orchard Project), free interactive gardening demos (Japanese moss ball planting with Floret Vanguards and honey bee hives with the Philadelphia Bee Guild), a tiny space gardening workshop, and kids’ crafts (including mason bee houses, screen printing with natural dyes, and flower bombs). You can also meet master gardeners and other organizations to learn tips for better gardening and sustainability practices.
April 24th, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., The Fairmount Park Horticulture Center, 100 North Horticultural Drive. 

Everyday Futures Fest Block Party

With this year’s theme of sustainability, Da Vinci Art Alliance’s Everyday Futures Fest is timed perfectly for Earth Day. Their block party will have temporary installations, performances and interactive experiences with artists and organizations focused on helping the environment. There will also be an art market featuring upcycled and sustainably made products. Read more about the artists, businesses and organizations here.
April 24th, noon.-7 p.m, Catharine Street between 7th and 8th streets.

Earth Day at the Meadows

During the pandemic lock-down, the Meadows at FDR Park grew into a beloved urban oasis, but now this nearly-150-acre refuge is the site of development plans. So, the Sierra Club and PennEnvironment are teaming up for Earth Day to host family-friendly activities, and advocate to keep the Meadows wild.
April 24th, 1-3 p.m., The Meadows at FDR Park, 1954 Pattison Avenue.

Earth Day Storytelling

Non-profit storytelling guild Patchwork comes to the Rotunda for a 90-minute program aimed at families. Expect stories, songs, and “silly interludes” at this free performance. The event is pay-what-you-wish, but donations are welcome.
April 24th, 2-3:30 p.m, The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut Street.

NarbEarth Day

Narberth’s annual environmental fair returns in-person to Narberth Park. There will be live music, fun and games for all ages, healthy food vendors, green products and services from local businesses, and a used book sale from the Narberth Library. Plus, reduce your waste footprint by buying or swapping used household items, kids’ clothes, toys, and perennial plants.
April 30th, noon-4 p.m., Narberth Park, 80 Windsor Avenue, Narberth.

New Scavenger Hunt at the Philadelphia Zoo

Launching on Earth Day, the zoo’s Nature Blazer Scavenger Hunt will offer a new, personalized way to explore and learn about the animals. Recommended for kids ages four and up, the scavenger hunt uses a smart compass (wristband is available for $10 purchase at the main gate) and the TRAKID app to give facts and trivia challenges at 10 designated stops. Complete the quest for a special prize.
Available beginning April 22nd, Philadelphia Zoo, 3400 West Girard Avenue.

Sustainability Store Openings

ray's reusables sustainable shop opens on earth day

Ray’s Reusables / Photograh by Zara Neifield Photography

Ray’s Reusables Opening Weekend Events

Just in time for Earth Day, Ray’s Reusables — a sustainable general store where you can bring your own containers from home and fill up on household essentials — is opening its doors in Northern Liberties, and celebrating all weekend long. On Friday, April 22nd from 4-7 p.m., Ray’s will host two pop-up vendors that share their eco-friendly ethos: Dumpster Fires for You (soy wax candles in upcycled containers like teacups), and Leah Creation Jewelry (upcycled vinyl record jewelry and accessories). Then on Saturday from 10-11 a.m., Monarch Yoga will host morning practice with light refreshments afterward (pre-registration is required). Plus, all weekend long, visitors can enter to win a $50 giveaway package that will be announced on Sunday afternoon.
April 22nd-24th, Ray’s Reusables, 935 North 2nd Street.

FarmerJawn Agriculture

FarmerJawn, a Philly non-profit committed to environmental justice and reducing food insecurity, is opening their greenery on Earth Day. This food-focused garden center will have everything you need to grow your own food, from soil blends to seeds, and even a tool library. To celebrate their opening, they will have events throughout the weekend. On Saturday, April 23rd, Athleta will be in the store with giveaways, highlighting that gardening is a form of physical fitness and overall wellness. Then on Sunday, April 24th, Rodale Institute will lead a repotting workshop at 1 p.m. Tired Hands Brewing Company will be popping up all weekend.
April 22nd-24th, FarmerJawn Greenery, 6730 Germantown Avenue.

More Volunteer Opportunities

earth day volunteering with PHS philadelphia

Photograph courtesy of PHS

PHS Tree Tenders Spring Planting

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, alongside PHS Tree Tender groups and neighborhood volunteers, will celebrate Earth Day by promoting healthier, greener communities with their semi-annual tree planting from April 19th-24th throughout Greater Philadelphia. Their goal this spring is to plant 1,500 trees in five days, so they definitely could use your help. Sign up online to volunteer — no experience is necessary, but vax cards are — and pick a location and date. Tree plantings generally last two to three hours. Dress for the weather and bring hand sanitizer, gloves, close-toed shoes, a water bottle, and a shovel if you have one. Supplies for plantings will be available onsite.
April 19th-24th, locations throughout Greater Philadelphia.

Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Center Tree Planting and Clean Up

Volunteers will be planting native trees and shrubs, cleaning up litter, and removing invasive species. To register email
April 22nd, 9 a.m.-noon, Cobbs Creek Park, 700 Cobbs Creek Parkway.

Earth Day Trash Walk with YaFavTrashman

YaFavTrashman is hosting a unique cleanup event with an eye toward environmental justice. Starting at Lehigh and Kensington avenues, participants will walk a 5k route while they pick up trash (tools will be provided). For every bag of trash collected (up to 1,000 bags) the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society will plant a tree in Black and brown communities over the next five years. A DJ will be on site to add some festiveness to the occasion, and everyone will get t-shirts and refreshments. Registration is $25. Sign up online.
April 23rd, 9 a.m., start at Lehigh and Kensington avenues.

Sort-a-Thon at FABSCRAP

Join this textile sustainability nonprofit at their Bok Building warehouse to help sort through materials for reuse and recycling. They’re going for 12 hours straight, and you can sign up for one-hour sessions throughout the day. FABSCRAP will provide meals, entertainment, and special presentations, and volunteers can take home two pounds of fabric for every hour they volunteer.
April 23rd, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., FABSCRAP at Bok, 1901 South 9th Street.

FABSCRAP’s location inside Bok. / Photograph by Chris Siracusa.

Friends of Wissahickon Earth Day of Service

Friends of Wissahickon have identified a lesser-known corner of Wissahickon Valley Park in need of some love — between Lincoln Drive, Walnut Lane and the train tracks. Meet at the Harvey Street Trailhead and volunteer to clear litter, invasive plants, and other debris from this tract that is home to a pond and walking trails. No experience is necessary; tools, gloves, instruction and snacks will be provided. Be sure to wear long pants and bring water. Register online to receive more detailed meet-up instructions.
April 23rd, 9 a.m.-noon, Harvey Street Trailhead at Wissahickon Valley Park. 

Fort Mifflin Earth Day Volunteer Project

This historical military landmark on the Delaware is building a new Regimental Garden, and they need your help with light landscaping and construction projects. All volunteers for this event will be added to Fort Mifflin’s “Volunteer Corps” and receive free individual membership for a year. The project is suitable for high school students and up; younger students are welcome with a registered parent present. Wear work clothes, and register online.
April 23rd, noon-4 p.m., Fort Mifflin on the Delaware, 6400 Hog Island Road.

TreePhilly Yard Tree Giveaway at Awbury Arboretum

Committed to rebuilding the tree canopy and empowering neighbors to cultivate their yards, TreePhilly is hosting a tree giveaway at Awbury Arboretum. Sign up online to volunteer for a shift: tasks include setting up, scooping mulch, directing traffic and checking people in. Volunteers will receive free lunch, t-shirts, and first dibs on leftover trees.
April 23rd, 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Awbury Arboretum, 1 Awbury Road.

Love Your Park Week

If Earth Day weekend doesn’t work for you, or if you just want to continue your good work, you’re in luck. Fairmount Park Conservancy’s Love Your Park Week is coming up May 7th-15th, with opportunities to volunteer at one of dozens of parks across Philadelphia. Registration is already open.
May 7th-15th, parks throughout Philadelphia.