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Explore Sonoma County for Earth Day

On Earth Day 2017, volunteers will remove invasive plants and trash from Riverfront Park along the Russian River.

Celebrate Earth Day 2017 (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 Saturday, April 22, 2017. Organized activities include:

April 22: Each year, Quarryhill Botanical Garden (see photo) 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. Free entry, but expect a $20 charge for parking. The event runs from 11 a.m.-3p.m. Quarryhill Botanical Garden, 12841 Sonoma Highway, Glen Ellen. 

April 22: This is the perfect time of year to take a Family Friendly Earth Day Walk at Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve, a 162-acre property in Sonoma Mountain foothills that’s known for its fabulous springtime floral displays. This outing will be a gentle walk over gently sloped land, although it will be mostly through grassland rather than on trails (the footing may occasionally be uneven). The walk crosses a few small creek channels, which sometimes have shallow water with stepping stones., and will be led by a Sonoma Ecology Center naturalist. Walks fill up on a first-come/first-served basis, so register early. Directions and other information will be emailed after you register. Questions? Call 707-996-0712 x. 108 o

April 22: Get great exercise and keep Sonoma County beautiful by volunteering on Earth Day at Maxwell Farms or Riverfront regional parks. Located in Sonoma, Maxwell Farms hosts a portion of Sonoma Creek (one-third of a mile) from which volunteers will remove invasive plants and trash. At Riverfront, which is located along the Russian River and runs through a redwood grove, volunteers will spread mulch around the grove to prevent soil compaction and improve long-term tree health. 9 a.m.-noon at both parks. Regional Parks will provide tools, gloves, drinks and snacks. Volunteers between the ages of 14 and 17 need a parental permission slip. Volunteers under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Free parking for volunteers. For more information and to RSVP: 707-565-3356.

April 22: Santa Rosa’s eighth annual Earth Day Festival Downtown. This fun and family-friendly festival (no admission fee) will offer great food, local and earth-friendly products, eco-friendly crafts and activities for kids, and lots of live entertainment on an outdoor stage to showcase Santa Rosa’s performing arts scene. This event also provides an opportunity to learn in a fun way about solutions that address drought, climate change, and other environmental concerns. Earth Day Festival Downtown takes place from noon to 4 p.m. Santa Rosa City Hall, 100 Santa Rosa Ave. 

April 22: Celebrate Earth Day around a campfire at Spring Lake Regional Park while eating s’mores, playing games, and enjoying stories, songs, and poetry. The Earth Day Campfire starts with a leisurely walk, during which you’ll listen to hooting owls, catch a glimpse of bats searching for dinner, and learn about the habits of the park’s nocturnal critters—and then it’s on to the campfire. Dress in layers, wear comfy shoes, and bring a flashlight and water. This event is English/Spanish bilingual. Meet at the Group Campsite from the Newanga Avenue entrance. The event is free, but parking is $7 (free for Regional Parks members). Spring Lake Regional Park, Newanga Avenue entrance, Santa Rosa, 707-565-7888.

April 22: A fun, free, family-friendly festival focused on caring for the earth, Sonoma’s Earth Care Festival will include information booths (what plants purify the air in your home? Buy them here); films; discussion groups; community action groups; farmer's market; activities for children; music, and more. More info. Burlingame Hall, First Congregational Church, 252 W Spain St., Sonoma.

April 22: At Korbel Champagne Cellars in Guerneville, Earth Day coincides with the opening day of the winery’s historic garden tours (see photo). To celebrate both events, Korbel is hosting Flavors of Spring on its beautiful grounds, 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Take a Tram Tour of the winery’s picturesque estate, and then enjoy nibbles paired with Korbel’s California Champagnes. Garden hats are encouraged. The $20/members and $25/non-members fee includes a logo flute and wine shop discounts. Get more info and advance tickets. Korbel Champange Cellars, 13250 River Road, Guerneville.

April 22: Enjoy sparkling wines and food pairings, learn from experts about a floral design and sustainable garden, walk through vineyards and wildflowers and much more at the Bubbles & Blooms Festival — a joint celebration of spring and Earth Day — at Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards in Sonoma. Also on the agenda: DIY workshops for head wreaths, floral arranging and curling vines, floral art show pieces, and building a wall with flowers (with your Earth Day pledges). $55-$65/members, $65 non-members. Get more info and tickets. Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineayrds, 23555 Highway 121, Sonoma

April 23 (Sunday): Held on Windsor’s splendid Town Green, the Windsor Earth Day and Wellness Festival offers many fun activities for the whole family, including live music and entertainment, children’s games and crafts, a plant sale by the Windsor Garden Club, and health, wellness, and environmentally-focused information booths. This year’s event showcases Windsor’s quality summer recreation programs with rec class demonstrations. Those who bicycle to the celebration can take advantage of free valet bike parking. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Windsor Town Green, 701 McClelland Drive.

For even more ways to explore the great outdoors in Sonoma County, read:

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

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