Earth Day is on April 22nd and the environment is celebrated that week most years with the Party for the Planet in Surrey and a parade in Vancouver.
Other Earth Day events also happen in the Lower Mainland, with some on April 22nd, but others taking place on other days.
CORONAVIRUS IMPACT ON THE EARTH
Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus in the spring of 2020, many Earth Day-related events won’t be taking place this year, including Surrey’s Party for the Planet and Vancouver’s Earth Day Parade. Some of the smaller events, however, might still occur, but it’s looking very unlikely.
On the bright side, if there is one, the environmental impact of the virus, due to its devastating impact on the economy, and especially on the tourism and festival-related industries, will be positive. Far less pollution and carbon-emission will happen as a result!
Earth Day Celebrations in Vancouver
Party for the Planet is definitely the largest Earth Day event in the Lower Mainland, but other smaller events on the weekend include the following:
Click on any of the above links to jump to a specific event or topic, or continue reading to learn about all of the region’s various events celebrating planet earth.
(Note: Event dates, locations and other details are subject to change. See official event websites for exact information.)
Party for the Planet
In 2020 Party for the Planet was going to run from 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday, April 18th, at 13450-104th Avenue at the City Hall Plaza in Surrey. So, the same as the year before, it wasn’t actually going to be on Earth Day itself.
Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus in the spring, the event was cancelled in 2020. It will, however, no doubt take place again in 2021.
In years when the event does happen, concerts and performances take place on three or so different stages throughout the day. Appearing at the event most years are a Raptor Ridge Birds of Prey exhibit, Bobs & Lolo to entertain children and various bands. Virginia to Vegas, Willa, Shawn Hook and Sam Roberts have performed in recent years. In 2019 the event was smaller than in previous years and, rather than a big-name headlining performer, the entertainment was with just a variety of smaller local groups.
See Party for the Planet for more information.
Vancouver Earth Day Parade
The annual Earth Day Parade & Festival is a small student-organized event that usually takes place along Commercial Drive on the Saturday just before April 22nd starting at 1 pm. For 2019, the celebration happened on April 20th. In 2020 it was scheduled to take place on Saturday, April 18th. Due to concerns about the coronavirus, however, it was cancelled.
Students from Windermere High School’s Youth for Climate Justice put on the event. The procession goes from the corner of Commercial Drive and Broadway to Grandview Park. After the parade, at the park, there are usually speakers and live entertainment.
Click Earth Day Parade for more information, including a video on the event.
Pilgrimage to Burns Bog
The Earth Day Pilgrimage to Burns Bog takes place at the Delta Nature Reserve at 10389 Nordel Court (with access at the edge of the Ice Planet parking lot). In 2020 it was scheduled to happen on Sunday April 19th from 1:30 until 4:00 pm. Due to the coronavirus, however, the 2020 event, however, has been CANCELLED!
At the family-friendly event there is singing, drumming and dancing while participants walk together through the trails of the park.
In 2019 the event’s keynote speaker was scheduled to be Abhayjeet Singh Sachal who is an activist and co-founder of Break the Divide. As of mid-March 2020, the keynote speaker for this year is still to be confirmed. The same as last year, entertainment in 2020 was going to include music with Aline LaFlamme & the Daughters of the Drum and Susan Summers & the Sacred Web Singers.
The Delta Nature Reserve is located in northeast Delta off Nordel Court and Nordel Way just south of Annacis Island. In years when it does take place, the event starts at the northern end of the reserve not far from Delta’s Planet Ice its facility’s parking lot.
Click Burns Bog Pilgrimage for more information.
Earth Day in Stanley Park
Most years the Stanley Park Ecology Society hosts a fairly “down-to-earth” event most years in the area of Stanley Park’s Nature House which is located on the southeast shore of Lost Lagoon at the north end of Alberni Street (so close to the edge of the park and the city).
A couple of years ago the Earth Day event with the Stanley Park Ecology Society took place on Saturday, April 21st. In 2019 it happened on Saturday April 27th. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it doesn’t look anything will be happening in 2020.
In years when it does take place, activities at the Stanley Park event most years include weaving crafts using invasive species of plants, planting native plants in the park and helping dig out invasive blackberry bushes (so bring your gardening gloves and dirty clothes).
Also at the Stanley Park event there are heron colony walks, activities for children and exhibitor tables. Free cookies and complimentary coffee are also usually available.
See the Stanley Park Ecology Society website for more information.
Earth Day at Everett Crowley Park
The Champlain Heights Community Centre hosts a special Earth Day event in South Vancouver each year. In 2019 it took place on Saturday, April 27th, from 11 o’clock until 3 in the afternoon. In 2020 it is scheduled to happen on Saturday, April 25th, although it will likely be cancelled due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.
The community centre is located at 3350 Maquinna Drive and the event takes place outdoors at Everett Crowley Park. Weather permitting, between 200 and 300 people usually show up.
Activities last year included the community planting of flowering native shrubs, interpretive walks, and entertainment by the Tiddley Cove Morris Dancers. Free refreshments were also served. 2020 details will likely be similar (unless the event gets cancelled, which it is most likely).
If the event does happen in 2020, don’t forget to take your gardening gloves!
Earth Day in North Vancouver
Last year Earth Day was celebrated with workshops, games and an invasive plant removal work party in North Vancouver at Loutet Farm in Loutet Park at 1400 Rufus Avenue.
In 2020 the event was schedule to happen on Sunday, April 26th, between 10 am and 2 pm at Mosquito Creek Park which is near the corner of Larson Road and Fell Avenue. The event was going to include an invasive plant pull (so bring your gardening gloves), some family-friendly games, a couple of workshops and informational displays by area community groups.
In years when it does take place, the event is a fairly small gathering of dedicated folk of all ages. Tools and snacks are provided. Workshops in 2019 included a drop-in session of sculptural mushroom cultivation with artist Willoughby Arevalo, and one on planning a garden and seed starting presented by the Edible Garden Project starting at 12:15 pm. The event in 2020 will likely be cancelled. Hopefully it will happen again though in 2021.
Click Earth Day in North Vancouver for more details.
Earth Day in Maple Ridge
Maple Ridge was going to celebrate Earth Day in 2020 with an event at the Memorial Peace Park on Saturday, April 18th, from 10 am until 2 pm. The event for this year, however, has been cancelled.
In years when they do take place, at the Maple Ridge celebrations there is a Freecycle event where people can bring their gently-used sports equipment, toys, books and clothing. At the same time and place they can find great “new-to-them” treasures to take home, all for free. Also at the event there is live entertainment, a selection of food trucks and a number of farmers’ market vendors.
For more information check out the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society website.
Tips and Advice
Below are some tips and suggestions to help you make the most out of your Earth Day experience.
TIP #1: It’s Earth Day, so don’t drive your Hummer to the event. Ride your bike or take public transit if you can instead!
TIP #2: If you’re out in Surrey anyway for the Party for the Planet event, consider dropping by beautiful Bear Creek Park. The spring flowers are starting to come out, so it’s another perfect place to celebrate Earth Day. If you’ve never been, it’s worth visiting.
TIP #3: Do something nice for the environment – join an invasive weed pull in your neighbourhood, go for a bicycle ride, turn off your lights early in the evening and go green for the day.
TIP #4: Although Earth Day is on April 22nd, most events take place on either the weekend before or after. If not a lot is happening on the official day in your neighbourhood, do your own thing – get outdoors and explore a park or other place in nature!
For ideas on other things to do in April, check out the following:
- Vancouver’s April Calendar
- Free April Events
- Festivals & Events Calendar
- Vancouver on a Budget
- Metro Vancouver’s Top 100 Places