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Explore Sonoma County for Earth Day

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Celebrate Earth Day 2016 (or any day) by getting out in nature and exploring a corner of Sonoma County you haven’t visited before.

With more than 1,500 square miles, there’s bound to be something new to discover.

Earth Day this year is Friday, April 22, 2016 — but Earth Day celebratory events are held on the surrounding days, too.

Earth Day 2016 activities this year include:

April 16: What better way to share Earth Day with the family than at beautiful Spring Lake Regional Park? You can explore the landscape with a naturalist from the park’s Environmental Discovery Center on a free one-hour hike (starting at 1 and 3 p.m. — take your pick). After returning to the center, the kids can play with nature-themed crafts, explore the tide pool, view fascinating exhibits, and more. Learn more here

April 16: Each year, Quarryhill Botanical Garden celebrates Earth Day with free admission, earth-friendly vendors and special activities such as a lion dance, face painting, hula hoop contests, a performance by the Sonoma Hometown Band, free popcorn, arts and crafts, and touring a fire truck. Plants will also be on sale (download the list). Free entry, but expect a $5 charge for parking. Quarryhill is located at 12841 Sonoma Highway, Glen Ellen 95442; the event runs from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

April 16: California State Parks Foundation is holding an Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup in Sonoma Coast State Park. Pitch in and help keep our coast beautiful on Earth Day. Volunteers can work at either the Pomo Canyon Campground renovation project or the North Jenner Beach cleanup. For more information, visit www.calparks.org. Please register before April 13. Check-in time, 8:30 a.m., cleanup runs 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. To register for any of these cleanups, visit this page. California State Parks Foundation is also holding a cleanup at Jack London State Historic Park the same day to stabilize the historic orchard and remove invasive species in select areas of the park; more details here.

April 17: Held on Windsor’s wonderful Town Green, the Windsor Earth Day and Wellness Festival will showcase eco-friendly products and health services while promoting environmental awareness and good health. The day will bring educational activities and presentations, great produce and food at the Windsor Farmers Market, games and crafts for children, live music, a rummage sale … and if you ride your bike you can take advantage of free valet bicycle parking. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Town Green, 701 McClelland Drive.

April 22: An Earth Day celebration at Lake Sonoma! A park volunteer will meet hikers at the Lone Rock parking area at 9:55 a.m. for a 3-4 mile hike (hikers get to determine length). You’ll follow loop trails on the ridgeline of Half-a-Canoe Trail, taking in lovely views of both the Dry Creek and Warm Springs arms of the Lake. Take your camera to capture shots of wildflowers and birds, too. Sturdy walking shoes are recommended, as well as a walking pole if you use one. All activities free and day-use fees will be waived today in honor of Earth Day. (Note: See Saturday, April 23 for another Earth Day Celebration at Lake Sonoma.)

April 23: Santa Rosa’s sixth annual Earth Day Festival Downtown. This fun and family-friendly festival (no admission fee) will offer great food, local and earth-friendly products, crafts and activities for kids, and lots of entertainment on an outdoor stage. It’s event is also a fun way to learn more about solutions to address drought, climate change, and other environmental concerns. Earth Day Festival Downtown takes place noon to 4 p.m. at Courthouse Square. 


April 23
: The Lake Sonoma Recreational Area will host Earth Day Family Fun starting at 10:30 a.m. Volunteers will be reading "Earth Day, Birthday" with assistance from 12 animal friends, and human participants. Art and craft projects will be available for all ages, and kids will be able to spin the quiz wheel and win a prize. An easy, nearly level, one-mile family hike will begin at 10:45 a.m. at the Lone Rock parking area. At 1:05 p.m., a moderate hike of 1.5 miles will start at the Woodland Ridge trail marker, located near the Milt Brandt Visitors Center. Wear sturdy tennis shoes and bring water! All activities free and day-use fees will be waived today in honor of Earth Day.

Find more info about things to do, restaurants, and hotels & lodging in Sonoma County.