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It’s Almost Earth Day in DSM! Celebrate with These Local Events + Resources

Earth Day 2023

April 21, 2023

Mark Earth Day in 2023 by attending an event focused on conservation in Greater Des Moines (DSM). Across the region, local organizations and businesses will host programming that highlights our environment and concentrates on ways to make DSM a healthier, more sustainable place to live, work and play. Attend something as a family or donate to awareness efforts happening right here in DSM!

Earth Day Events


Learn about the Blank Park Zoo’s conservation efforts during DISCOVER the WILD Days programming from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 22. There are also still tickets available to see the 2023 Wild Lights Festival that night from 7:30 – 10 p.m., and the Hotsy Totsy food truck will be on site for the evening event.

Earth Day 5K

The Polk City Friends of the Parks will hold an Earth Day 5K on Saturday, April 22. When you attend, you have the chance to win a free round for a foursome from Tournament Club of Iowa or the opportunity to attend a Rain Barrel Workshop with ISU Extension. Other gift cards and goodies will be raffled off as well.

Learn more about the second annual walk/run and how proceeds will go to updating the Polk City Square and creating an extension of the Square with the new Van Dorn Pocket Park.

Earth Day Trash Bash

From now through Saturday, April 22, you can volunteer for Earth Day Trash Bash and help green up Greater Des Moines (DSM). A Bash celebration will be held on Friday, April 21 at Noon and will include a free lunch. The event is a collaboration between the following:

  • City of Clive
  • City of Des Moines
  • City of Norwalk
  • City of Pleasant Hill
  • Polk County Conservation
  • Polk Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Iowa Rivers Revival
  • Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation
  • Des Moines Water Works

Learn more about Earth Day Trash Bash and how you can get involved.

Trash Bash

Earth Day + Extraordinary Eggs

Take advantage of this opportunity to explore Water Works Park, where hundreds of eggs await you across 400+ wooded acres. The event begins Saturday, April 22 at 8 a.m. and is free for all ages to attend.

Learn more about finding eggs at dsmwaterworkspark.com.

Earth Day Tree Planting

Help plant a variety of trees, including Elm, Kentucky Coffee and Oak trees, in Pammel Park Campground in Winterset at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 22. All ages are welcome to attend the two-hour event, which will replace trees lost from the EF4 tornado devastation last year.

Learn more about attending the Pammel Park planting.

Earth, Trees, Sky + HAND PIES!

Explore Greenwood Park in Des Moines on Saturday, April 22 from 1 – 3:30 p.m. with forest bathing, a tea ceremony and delicious hand pies. Support women-owned businesses during this two-hour experience.

Learn more about this intertwined nature + Forest therapy and Domestic Bones event.

Free Admission to the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

Enjoy a day at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden with the entire family on Earth Day! There will be a new mural unveiling at 11 a.m. in the garden commons and other activities on-site from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Stop by Trellis Café between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. for seasonal eats overlooking the water garden, too!

Learn more about these events and more at dmbotnaicalgarden.com.

Other events around the region are taking place as well, including an Earth Day Celebration at Waukee Public Library featuring a presentation from Ankeny Sanitation, an Earth Day Watershed Cleanup and Tree Giveaway at the AMP in Ankeny along the High Trestle Trail, Trail Cleanup at Annett Nature Center Park in Indianola and an Earth Day Celebration at Windsor Heights Community Center in Colby Park.


Earth Day Conservation Organizations

Aside from attending Earth Day events and supporting conservation attractions, you can find resources focused on environmental issues in the state, as well as information on recreation, parks and how to impact the region by maintaining conservation areas in DSM. Try these local organizations for volunteer and donation opportunities:

The Greater Des Moines Partnership calendar of events is a one-stop resource for activities taking place throughout the region. Find networking information for Greater Des Moines (DSM) businesses or events specific to Downtown DSM.

Whether it’s a morning on the lake or an evening spent exploring Greater Des Moines’ (DSM’s) 800 miles of connected recreational trails, the region has many outdoor options.

Dr. Marvin DeJear

Dr. Marvin DeJear is the former director of the Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families.