Earth Day Observances at State Parks, Aquariums and Art Museums


There are many ways to show appreciation and conservation of planet Earth, and a variety of “preserve the planet” experiences are planned at venues within the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. There are opportunities to participate all across the state.


April 20-22. N.C. Aquarium-Pine Knoll Shores. Party for the Planet. Enjoy displays and activities about our connection to the natural world and learn about conservation successes and projects at the aquarium. The theme is Conservation Celebration. Learn how to have your own sustainable party and enjoy crafts and activities. Free with admission or aquarium membership.

April 21. Fort Macon State Park. Atlantic Beach. Crystal Coast Earth Day. Celebrate Earth Day with over a dozen local conservation/ecological organizations, each with a booth showcasing their conservation efforts. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.  Free.

April 21. Jones Lake State Park. Elizabethtown. Intro to Carolina Bays. Learn about the geological mysteries of the Carolina Bays from a park ranger. Formation theories and the natural communities associated with Carolina Bays will be discussed. Meet at the visitor center. 10 a.m. Free.

April 21. Carolina Beach State Park. Carolina Beach. Earth Day Hike – N.C. Hike. Join a ranger on the park’s newest trail, Sand Live Oak, to explore the southernmost end of the park property and several plant communities along the Cape Fear River. Meet at Nature Trail Lane in the Flying Trail parking lot. 12:30 p.m. Free.

April 22. N.C. Aquarium-Fort Fisher. Kure Beach. 5K Race for the Planet. Racers of all skill levels are welcome to run the flat, mostly asphalt course through scenic Fort Fisher. Enjoy amazing views of the ocean, maritime forests and historic Fort Fisher Civil War site. Bring your old electronics and unwanted paint to this eco-consciousness raising event and fundraiser for educational programs. 8 a.m. Registration $35/$40 day of. Free aquarium admission to race participants.

April 22. Goose Creek State Park. Washington. Earth Day: Acts of Green. Become part of the “Earth Day: Billion Acts of Green” effort. Plant a tree, take a quiz and learn how you can help reduce plastic pollution. Meet in the visitor center. 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Free.



April 21. Falls Lake Recreation Area. Wake Forest. Story Time: The Lorax. Join a ranger for a reading of Dr. Seuss’s “The Lorax” followed by discussion of the importance of trees. Take a look at some of the trees in the park on a half mile walk after the reading. 3 p.m. Free.

April 21. Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art. Winston-Salem. Join the Garden Club and Trail Builders. Volunteers needed to help with pulling weeds, trimming trees, making trails, etc. If you have a favorite gardening skill, we can definitely put it to use! Snacks provided, please bring your own tools. Meets every first and third Saturday. Meet at Hanes House.  9:30 a.m.

April 21. N.C. Zoo. Asheboro. Party for the Planet. Join the celebration of Mother Earth and the blue planet. Explore ways you can help your planet through water conservation, protecting green spaces and living the green life. Don’t miss this daylong party for the planet featuring live music, crafts and more! 10 a.m. Free with admission.

April 21. Morrow Mountain State Park. Albemarle. Read with a Ranger Earth Day Celebration. Share our monthly Read with a Ranger program that celebrates Earth Day for the month of April. The program is for kindergarten through grade four. We will read Dr. Seuss’s “The Lorax” and youth get to plant their own Truffala tree. The group also will hike on the Quarry Trail. Start at Shelter B. 10:30 a.m. Free.

April 22. N.C. Museum of Art. Raleigh. Family Friendly Tours: Big Beautiful World. Discover places in the world around you from inside the galleries of the art museum. Ideal for ages five to 11 with their adult companions. No reservations necessary – first come, first served. Meet at the West Building. 10:30 a.m. Free.

April 22. Eno River State Park. Durham. Earth Day Bird Walk. Celebrate with the birds!  Mohawks, long and short tail feathers, hooked beaks, hammer beaks, red, blue, tiny, large – are among descriptions for birds at the Eno. Join an educator to work on your birding skills or to enjoy the presence of birds on a 1.5-mile hike. All birding levels are welcome and bring binoculars! Meet at Few’s Ford Picnic Area. 8 a.m. Registration required. Free.

April 22. Pilot Mountain State Park. Pinnacle. Pollinator Power – Assault on Invasive Plants. Join a park ranger to learn the importance of pollinators and how to attract them to your backyard. Learn the difference among native, introduced and invasive plants. Meet at the Pilot Creek Access. 9:30 a.m. Free.


April 21. Chimney Rock State Park. Chimney Rock. Earth Day at Chimney Rock. Join in the N.C. Science Festival Celebration and the work of conservationists to protect Chimney Rock for over 100 years. Join park rangers, biologists and other environmental educators to learn about conservation work at the park. Booths will be in Chimney Rock Village behind the Old Rock Cafe. 11 a.m. Free.

April 22. Lake James State Park. Nebo. Salamander Soiree. The wonderful world of salamanders will be on display as Park Ranger Kevin Bischof leads a hike to different habitats for different salamanders. Be prepared to travel through streams, seeps and woodlands. Meet at the Holly Discovery Trail parking lot. 1 p.m. Free.

April 22. Mount Mitchell State Park. Burnsville. Earth Day Trail Clean-Up. What better way to celebrate Earth Day than by helping maintain a beautiful, unique environment? Join a ranger to assist in cleaning up Commissary Trail. Volunteers will be provided safety equipment, bags, beverages and transportation. Meet at park office. 10 a.m. Free.

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