Earth Day Around the Bay, 2011

April 5, 2011

Looking for ways to celebrate Earth Day? Some highlights from around the Bay:

Festivities start on Saturday, April 16, with the California State Parks Foundation’s 14th Annual Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup. Choose from eleven project sites around the Bay Area, including Mt. Tamalpais State Park, Mt. Diablo State Park, and Half Moon Bay State Beach. You’ll restore trails, remove non-native plants, and help with erosion maintenance- a great way to thank these beloved outdoor spaces.

For more state park appreciation, check out the Berkeley Bay Festival at Eastshore State Park. Help clean up the shoreline in the morning before heading over to the Berkeley Meadow Dedication ceremony. Free sailboat rides, live music, and a Nature Center open house will make for an action-packed day.

In the afternoon, stop by Santa Rosa’s Earth Day Fair for all-ages appropriate fun. Pick up a reusable bag at “The Great Bag Exchange,” take a free ride on a Zip electric Scooter, or relax with a drink in the beer and wine garden. The whole family can enjoy live music, food vendors, and kids’ activities.

And if you’re anywhere near Martinez on Saturday, don’t miss the John Muir Birthday and Earth Day Celebration at the John Muir National Historic Site. Take a guided nature stroll, listen to live music, or share a slice of cake with “John Muir” at this all-day festival. Learn about wildcat conservation from keynote speaker Zara McDonald, Executive Director of the Felidae Conservation Fund, or get hands-on with National Park Service Junior Ranger Activities.

Events continue on Sunday, April 17, with an Earth Day Celebration at the Marin Headlands Institute in Sausalito. Enjoy gorgeous views while participating in stewardship activities like invasive plant removal. Get acquainted with new flora and fauna on naturalist led hikes, or hold a starfish in the marine lab. Kids will especially enjoy earth day inspired arts and crafts. 

Nearby, the Marine Mammal Center will host an Earth Day Open House with special tours, classroom programs, and a scavenger hunt for kids. Learn about the center’s rescue and rehabilitation efforts, and meet patients like elephant seal pups.

During the week, on Thursday, April 21, head to the city for BART’s first annual Blue Sky Festival, where they’ll be giving away $6 BART tickets to folks who collect stamps from vendors of green goodies and earth-friendly services at the fair. What’s to lose?

On the same day, the California Academy of Arts and Sciences kicks off an Earth Day Celebration that goes through Saturday. On Thursday night, a green-themed NightLife will feature the unveiling of sculptor Michael Bartalos’ “Handle with Care,” an exploration of paper’s sustainability. For the next two days, visitors to the Academy can enjoy nature-themed crafts, live music, and live demonstrations on everything from frogs to bamboo-frame bikes.

On Saturday, April 23, you can’t miss Earth Day, no matter what side of the Bay you’re on.

In SF, celebrate the 10th anniversary of the revival of Crissy Field with Earth Stroll 2011. Live music, ranger-led hikes, and live animal demonstrations will animate this popular outdoor spot. Take in sweeping views, dip your toes in the Pacific, or stop to build a sand castle.

Afterwards, head downtown for the San Francisco Earth Day Festival at Civic Center Plaza. Hear from environmental leaders like Global Exchange founder Kevin Danaher at this action-oriented event in San Francisco. Live music, permaculture workshops, and yoga classes are just a few of the additional attractions.

If you are east of the bridge, check out Berkeley Earth Day at Berkeley’s Civic Center Park. Test drive an electric car or catch a dance performance at this special rendition of the Berkeley Farmer’s Market. Take a break from perusing produce with a jaunt up the climbing wall or a look at the expanded booths.

Up north, spend Earth Day at Richardson Bay Audubon Center and Sanctuary in Tiburon, where you can help restore this wildlife-rich area, and do some bird watching at the same time. Naturalist-led explorations and wildflowers in bloom will make this a memorable morning.

Down south in Redwood City, spend Earth Day on the Bay watching the shark feeding or dipping into touch tanks; canoeing on Redwood Creek or taking an EcoTour around the Bay, all thanks to the Marine Science Institute. Live music and Polynesian dancing supplement the marine activities.

And if you want to get your hands dirty fixing up some habitat, take on the Earth Day Creek Challenge. Join the Richmond-based Watershed Project in helping clean up neighborhood creeks. Choose from four work sites in the East Bay.

About the Author

Erica Reder is a native San Franciscan. In addition to covering the environment beat at SF Public Press, she reports for Bay Nature Magazine and KPFA Radio. She holds a B.A. in history from Yale University. This story was originally published at

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