Earth Day events in Eau Claire

Celebrating and learning about the environment we live in


© Casey Ryan 2018

Flowers are starting to grow in Phoenix Park in downtown Eau Claire.

Earth Day began today, officially kicking off what is known as Earth Week, where many events are happening in Eau Claire to celebrate sustainability and encourage environmental protection.

The Student Office of Sustainability is hosting Earth Week at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. SOS Director Austin Northagen said Earth Week is the perfect time to educate the public about recycling and composting.

“The Student Office of Sustainability strives to educate, inform and engage students on all aspects of sustainability,” Northagen said. “The week gives us the perfect opportunity to share what SOS does and educate students on how to recycle and compost.”

Northagen said that there are events almost every day this week.

“The biggest event is the Earth Claire Festival on April 23 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.,” Northagen said. “We will have over 20 vendors, both campus and community based, that share in sustainable activities.”

Northagen said they will be giving away pizza, snow cones, waste sorting guides and raffle prizes that include Patagonia hats, hydroflask water bottles and an in-home composter.

At 1 p.m. on April 23, UW-Eau Claire will celebrate its second year of Tree Campus USA certification with an award presentation and conifer walk. Bradley Johnson, regional urban forestry coordinator with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, will present the university’s Tree Campus Award.

UW-Eau Claire hosts two main events on campus for Earth Week: The Earth Claire Festival and Banff Mountain Film Festival. Earth Claire takes place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow at the campus mall and the film festival is at 7 p.m. April 28 at The Pablo Center. Tickets can be purchased in advance.

In the spirit of Earth Week students and community members can now drop off plastic bags at the library to be properly recycled. The program has just started but will continue indefinitely.

Jenna Vande Zande, a research and communications associate at McIntyre Library, brought the issue of not having a place to recycle plastic bags to the Student Office of Sustainability.

“I mentioned the plastic bags casually and a couple students jumped on the project and they said that’s a great and easy thing to implement, so they approved getting new plastic bag recycling bins here in the library and new electronic waste bins,” Vande Zande said.

The Chippewa Valley Sustainability Fair began yesterday and will run through Saturday. The fair is an event with multiple activities that is held throughout Earth Week in the Chippewa Valley. Activities include science fairs, music events and poetry slams held at various venues throughout the Chippewa Valley.

The theme for this year’s fair is “transformation,” at which they will be offering programming that engages community members and provides opportunities to help transform the environmental challenges facing the planet. One of the events offered during Earth Week is Jam It For The Planet.

Jamie Pappas, a volunteer for the sustainability fair is helping organize it this year. She said the Chippewa Valley Sustainability organizers focused on the importance of including youth in this year’s fair. The people organizing the fair wanted to instill the importance of the environment in the minds of young people.

“For our first two years we focused on posting two events, one being the Chippewa Valley youth STEAM Fair and the other event being Jam It For The Planet,” Pappas said. “All of the events we host focus on environmental activism, and sustainability.”

Jam It For The Planet is an all-age music environment and business expo. It features local music and the opportunity for community organizations, groups and representatives to connect with the community members about sustainability. The event will be held April 27 at The Plus. Free activities are from noon to 7 p.m. Guests can purchase $5 tickets for the evening portion of the event.

There will be an interactive children’s show by Eddie Danger, an award winning singer that has been traveling the world collecting instruments for his show for over a decade. There will also be guest speakers discussing recycling and an Earth Day “superhero” encouraging children to recycle. Daytime activities will include a kids creation station with recycled art projects, face paint, and other activities.

Check Volume One’s calendar of events for more details about Earth Week and the events in The Chippewa Valley.