Celebrate Earth Day where it sprouted — in the St. Croix River region

International event with St. Croix River region roots will be marked with broad array of activities over several days.




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Clear Lake, Wis., home of Earth Day founder and St. Croix River champion Sen. Gaylord Nelson. (Greg Seitz, St. Croix 360)

This year marks the 49th annual Earth Day, something that has now become an international occasion to dedicate a day to our planet. It was famously founded by Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, native of Clear Lake, near the upper Willow River.

“Earth Day worked because of the spontaneous response at the grassroots level,” Nelson said. “We had neither the time not the resources to organize the 20 million demonstrators who participated from thousands of schools and local communities. That was the remarkable thing about Earth Day. It organized itself.”

In that spirit, people around the world continue to organize their own local Earth Day. Once again this year, the St. Croix Valley will host clean-ups, educational events, celebrations, and opportunities to enjoy one of Earth’s beautiful natural regions.

Sen. Gaylord Nelson speaking in Denver on the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970

The first Earth Day was held in April 1970, when an estimated 10 percent of all Americans participated. That makes next year its golden anniversary, with many people who joined the first one still involved.

“Our goal is not just an environment of clean air and water and scenic beauty,” Nelson told a crowd in Denver on the first Earth Day. “The objective is an environment of decency, quality and mutual respect for all other human beings and all other living creatures.”

A special event in Marine on St. Croix on April 26 will offer a chance to get involved in planning for the big year in 2020. Learn more about “Envision Earth Day 2020” below.

Clear Lake, Wis.

Earth Day Celebration honoring Gaylord Nelson
Saturday, April 20, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Clear Lake Elementary School
135 8th Ave, Clear Lake, WI 54005 (Map)
Free and open to the public.

In honor of Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day and a native of Clear Lake. Education will be a large focus with speakers educating the public on topics such as “green” cleaning, gardening, environmental issues, energy, recycling and more! 20-30 “green vendors will have food, healthy cooking demos, kid’s activities, education, and products for sale. A freewill donation pancake breakfast will kick off the event.

Marine on St. Croix, Minn.

Celebrate Earth Day with Dan Chouinard!
Friday, April 26 at 7:00 p.m.
Marine Village Hall, 121 Judd Street, Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047 (Map)
Free and open to the public.

Join in a rollicking community sing-along of your favorite river and earth songs! Dan is well known as a pianist and accordionist and writer of hit shows for public radio and stage. He grew up in Lindstrom and has a deep commitment to the St. Croix Valley. This evening will leave you uplifted and even more in love with the St. Croix and our beautiful earth.

Envision Earth Day 2020: Before the concert, from 3 to 5 p.m. join North Woods and Waters of the St. Croix Heritage Area for a planning session for Earth Day 2020. What can we do to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day next year and to honor the “Man from Clear Lake”, Gaylord Nelson, Father of Earth Day? Details here.

St. Croix Falls, Wis.

Work Play Earth Day
Saturday, April 27, 9 a.m. to noon
Interstate Park – Wisconsin
State Highway 35, St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin 54024 (Map)
Free park admission for volunteers.

Interstate Park is looking for volunteers to participate in a state-wide event celebrating Earth Day. Volunteers are needed to help build picnic tables, stain boards, and clean up our picnic areas. Volunteers should wear work boots, long pants and gloves. A state park admission sticker is not required for volunteers. Meet at the Beach Picnic Shelter. After volunteering, explore the Outdoor Skills Expo at the park from noon to 4 p.m.

Hastings area, Minn.

Earth Day Birding Festival
Saturday, April 27, 2019, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center
12805 St. Croix Trail S., Hastings, MN 55033 (Map)
$5 per person or $15 per person including a box lunch.

Celebrate the many birds of Minnesota at the Hastings area Earth Day Birding Festival. This is the fifth year the Hastings Environmental Protectors has teamed up with CNC for the Birding Festival. Some of the highlights are an “Introduction to Birding” class, a “Raptors 101” class, bird banding demonstrations, and guided bird trips in the Hastings area.

RSVPS Are Required – Call 651-437-4359 to reserve your spot. More details here.

Hudson Earth Day Celebration 2019

Hudson, Wis.

St. Croix County and Sustain Hudson’s 15th Annual Earth Day Celebration
Saturday, April 27, Noon- 4:00pm
Lakefront Park near the “Hudson Arch,” Downtown Hudson, WI 54016 (Map)
Free and open to the public

  • Meet the Munch Bunch Goats!
  • Plant seeds with a Master Gardener
  • Tree Trek Scavenger Hunt!
  • Meet new animal friends and learn about the wildlife in our backyard with Friends of Willow and the Kinnickinnic
  • Help Scrappy get ready for River Fest
  • Family friendly activities with the River Valley Trails, YMCA Camp St Croix, WI DNR, and more!

One group’s haul from a previous Namekagon River clean-up. (Namekagon River Partnership)

Hayward, Wis. area

Annual Namekagon River clean-up
Saturday, April 27, 8 a.m. – Noon
Meet at Hayward City Beach (Map)

The Namekagon River Partnership has teamed up with the St. Croix River Association to host our annual cleanup of the Namekagon River. As usual, we will be meeting at the City Beach on Lake Hayward. The plan is to clean the river from Seeley to Trego. Sections of the river will be designated to various groups before leaving the City Beach. You can participate by walking and cleaning (for example, at the landings) or by getting into a water craft and cleaning a section of the river. Please feel free to bring your on drift boat, kayak or canoe.

Lodging special: Clean-up participants can get a 25% discount at Telemark Condominiums for April 26 and 27. The condos are located less than 5 miles east of Cable. The discount is valued at $25/night to $62.50/night depending on unit.

Visit the website to view accommodations, and call the office at 715-798-3999 to make reservations.

More Earth Day info

Visit the Earth Day Network’s website for official information and event listings around the world.

Did we miss a local event? Please send an email to greg@stcroix360.com. Thank you!


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Celebrate Earth Day where it sprouted — in the St. Croix River region