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​A World of Opportunities to Celebrate Earth Day


Earth​Each year, Mecklenburg County joins agencies and organizations from around the world in recognizing April 22 as Earth day. This is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors and remember the importance of protecting our environment.

This year’s celebration will feature many family-friendly activities and events that will help residents discover Mecklenburg’s good nature and how to be better stewards of the environment.

Land Use and Environment Services Agency

Compost Central and Recycling Center Open House
The County will be welcoming its customers to the new Compost Central and Recycling Center with a community event to showcase the facility and its use, and provide food, education and entertainment. There will be an array of trucks and equipment for the children to take pictures with and admire. 
Saturday, April 22, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., 140 Valleydale Road, Charlotte

Recycle the Runway Eco Avant Garde Fashion Show
This unique fashion show offers students attending a Mecklenburg public or private school an amazing opportunity to design, create and model an Avant Garde outfit from recyclable materials.
Saturday, April 22, 1 p.m., Northlake Mall

Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation
Register for programs by visiting and clicking on Eparks. Use the course code listed for the class you wish to register for.

Earth Day at First Ward Park

Bring a picnic lunch and lawn chairs to enjoy this beautiful outside event and celebrate Mother Earth. Activities include face painting, acrobats, juggling and more!

Saturday, April 22, 1 - 5 p.m. First Ward Park, FREE


Reedy Creek

Family Campout
Want to discover Reedy Creek after dark? Want to try out camping but don't want to buy all the gear? This is your opportunity to learn more about camping and to enjoy nature at a slower pace. We will provide tents, a campfire, games and even a couple of hikes. Marshmallows and light breakfast are also included! Stress-free camping at its finest!
All Ages
#58100   Apr 21  Fri 5:30 p.m. to Apr 22 Sat 9:00 a.m.  $9

Spring Biodiversity Trip
Join us this spring for a wonderful adventure that will take us to the shores of the Neuse River and the coastal area of North Carolina where we will immerse ourselves in the beauty and richness of our surroundings. We will be staying in cabins at Don Lee Center located in Arapahoe, NC. From here we will explore the Neuse River, wander around a barrier island and hike in the only true coastal forest in the east.
Age 18+
#57933  Apr 21  Fri 9 a.m. to Apr 23 Sun 9 a.m.  $200

Pollinator Pals
Do you know a bee's favorite type of flower? Can you name a nocturnal pollinator? Join us for an interactive approach to learn more about our pollinator friends and their favorite foods. Work together as a family to start your own pollinator garden. Plant your first flower with us!
Age 8+
#58101   Apr 22  Sat  10 a.m. to 11 a.m.  FREE

Nature Rocks!
Get some energy out as you explore the ground beneath your feet. Learn basic rock types and how they form with games and hands-on activities. Bring home a rockin' goodie bag! 
Age 12+
#58102   Apr 23  Sun  1p .m. to 2 p.m.  FREE

Latta Plantation Nature Center

 Every Day Is Earth Day
Every day is an earth day, but April 22 is the official day for celebrating! Drop in at the nature center anytime this Friday to get ready to celebrate Earth Day on Saturday. We’ll have crafts, animal meet and greets, and much more going on hourly throughout the day!
All Ages
#58311  Apr 21  Fri 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  FREE

Earth Day Celebration
Drop in to the nature center to play games and create crafts to celebrate Earth Day! 
All Ages
#58428  Apr 22 Sat  10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.  FREE

Sunset Kayak Tour
Start your weekend serenity on Friday evenings in April by kayaking on Mountain Island Lake with a certified instructor. We'll explore the peaceful coves while opening our senses up to the beauty around us and, weather permitting, set ourselves up to watch the sunset over the water. All equipment provided!
Age 12 and up  
#58365  Apr 21   Fri  6  p.m. to 8 p.m.  $15 for single kayak
#58366  Apr 21   Fri  6  p.m. to 8 p.m.  $25 for tandem

McDowell Nature Center

TGIF at McDowell!
Come to McDowell Nature Preserve on select Friday afternoons for a variety of fun and nature-based educational activities, such as guided hikes, nature games, crafts and exploration. Meet new friends in an exciting new setting. Registration required.
Ages At least 6 but less than 12
#58136  Apr 21  Fri  3:30 p.m.  Free

Family Campfire
Join McDowell Nature staff as we warm up next to a roaring campfire. Learn how to safely light a fire, make s'mores and listen to the sounds of nature after dark. Registration required for all participants.
All Ages
#58104   Apr 21  Fri  6:00 p.m.  Free

Family Prairie Sweep
Join a naturalist at McDowell Nature Preserve to discover the local flora and fauna in our 150-acre restoration prairie. The prairie is home to grassland species such as Field Sparrows, Eastern Bluebirds, and the endangered Schweinitz's Sunflower. We will be led on a short hike through this unique habitat and perform a prairie sweep to catch insects! Registration required
Age 6 and up
#58140   Apr 22  Sat  2:30 p.m.-3:45 p.m.  Free

McDowell Sunday Striders
Join staff from the McDowell Nature Center on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month for our NEW adult hiking club. Get fit while enjoying the outdoors as we set off at a comfortable yet steady pace through the McDowell Nature Preserve. These hikes are for those who are new to hiking or even the more skilled participant and will cover 2-3 miles on uneven terrain. Registration required.
Age 18 and up
#58085   Apr 23  Sun  1:00 p.m.  Free

Sunday Nature Happenings
Join a naturalist from the McDowell Nature Center on select Sundays for a drop-in nature program. Each program will feature a different nature activity such as an animal encounter, family hike, scavenger hunt, craft and more. Dress for the weather and bring your sense of adventure. Registration is not required.
Any age
#58082   Apr 23  Sun  3:00 p.m.  Free

Lake Wylie Family Kayak Tour
Paddle around the edges of Lake Wylie with certified instructors. Learn the history of Lake Wylie and meet new people in a fun environment. All equipment provided. Registration required.
Ages 5-9 (tandem with an adult)
Ages 10 and up (single or tandem)
#59650  April 22  Sat  9:30 a.m. -11:30 a.m.  Single $15
#59651  April 22  Sat  9:30 a.m. -11:30 a.m.  Tandem $20

Charlotte B-Cycle

Charlotte B-Cycle is offering free bike rentals all day on Friday, April 21. To take advantage of this great opportunity, visit a B-Cycle station and use promo code 4212017. Bike riders are still required to check bikes in every 30 minutes.