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.
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. Party for the Planet is happening as a virtual event in 2021, on April 22nd from 5 pm to 7 pm.
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. 2021 details are to be confirmed.
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, but it was cancelled due to COVID-19. Hopefully the event returns in 2021.
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. 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 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. After not occurring in 2020, hopefully the event makes a safe return in 2021.
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. If the event takes place in 2021, dates and details will be comparable.
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 in 2019 included the community planting of flowering native shrubs, interpretive walks, and entertainment by the Tiddley Cove Morris Dancers. Free refreshments were also served.
If the event does happen in 2021, don’t forget to take your gardening gloves!
Earth Day in North Vancouver
In 2019 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 scheduled 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.
Because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the 2021 event is happening on a smaller scale. Folks who want to pull plants can do so by signing up for the city’s Earth Day Stewardship Activities that are scheduled to happen between April 19th and 24th.
Click Earth Day in North Vancouver for more details about 2021 activities.
In years when there isn’t a global pandemic, 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.
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 2020 event was cancelled and the 2021 event is taking place in a COVID-friendly format. Folks are encouraged to do a list of outdoor local activities and share their photos online for prizes.
For more information about the 2021 event check out the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society website.
In years when they do take place, at the normal 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.
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