Earth Day Delights

How to Celebrate Earth Day in Sarasota-Manatee

From a scrub jay festival to tree giveaways, these events provide inspiration—or a sapling that will keep the celebration going year-round.

By Bethany Ritz April 19, 2023

Oscar Sherer Park is celebrating Earth Day with its annual Scrub Jay Festival on Saturday.

While it can seem too large to celebrate the whole Earth on Saturday, April 22, this year's Earth Day events across Sarasota and Manatee counties engage us in the local living world, from a scrub jay festival to family events at The Bay Park.

This year, Arbor Day falls on the same day as Earth Day, so the significance of trees takes on greater meaning—especially after we lost so many during Hurricane Ian last fall. So, if you're missing a beloved sylvan friend in your yard, there are several tree giveaways that could allow you to have a new one take root.

Scrub Jay Festival at Oscar Scherer Park  Editor's Pick

Celebrate Earth Day by getting to know the scrub jay a bit better, with a guided tram tour or hike to learn about the special habitat of the state's only endemic bird. There are more human-centered activities as well: live music on the park stage, a photo contest exhibit, kids' activities and games, food vendors and family-friendly booths and exhibitors.

UF/IFAS Extension Earth Day Sarasota County Events

Three events are on tap through the UF|IFAS Extension: At the "Florida-Friendly Landscaping: Planting Trees for the Suncoast" event on Saturday, from 1 to 2:30 p.m., participants will not only learn about Florida-friendly trees that thrive in our area, they'll also receive a native tree—one per household—for only $3. There's also a clothing swap from 2 to 5 p.m. and an online "Nature Trivia Night" starting at 6 p.m. The in-person events are at Twin Lakes Park off Clark Road.

If you're a resident of Bradenton or Manatee County, then you can register for a free tree, too. Learn more here.

Earth Day at The Bay

There will be ature walks, family-friendly yoga, mangrove bayou trips on tandem kayaks, science experiments for kids, seed planting activities, an astronomy pop-up, hands-on S.T.E.M. activities and more engaging opportunities to become a better citizen of the Earth.

Earth Day Exhibit at Fogartyville

Stocking Savvy not only restores native habitats locally, it also explores the intersections of creative expression and environmental restoration. Its Earth Day exhibit runs through May 27 at Fogartyville.

The Venice Shark Tooth Festival

Venice MainStreet will celebrate Earth Day with the return of its famous Shark Tooth Festival. The two-day event will feature fossil collections, kids' shark tooth digs, fossil talks, face painting, kids' crafts, food and beer trucks, craft and art vendors, and live music. The festival takes place Saturday, April 22, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 23, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Centennial Park in Venice.

Earth Day at the Arboretum

In celebration of Earth Day, Venice City Arborist and Arboretum volunteers will provide information about trees (including a tree giveaway), butterfly gardens, composting and rain barrels from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, April 22, at the Monty Andrews Arboretum in West Blalock Park. There also will be children's activities, including a "tinkergarten" and a nature scavenger hunt.

The Meadows Community Association Earth Day Celebrations

This community association is celebrating Earth Week with a series of events available to the public. Earth Day itself will kick off with a tree planting at 10 a.m, followed by a nature walk hosted by the Meadows Garden Club, an invitation to help build a bee hotel, composting lessons, nature poetry, music performances by local folk musicians and even a viewing of Wall-E at 1:15 p.m. 2004 Longmeadow, Sarasota; (941) 377-2300;

Enjoy Free Transit Day

One way to reduce your carbon emissions while attending an Earth Day event is by using local transit, and Earth Day is also Sarasota County's Try Transit Day. All day, the county will waive bus fares and offer free OnDemand rides—that's the county's curb-to-curb ridesharing service—with the code “TRYTRANSIT2023."  Sarasota County Transit buses are equipped with air conditioning, WiFi and bicycle racks, and provide transportation to beaches, parks, libraries, malls, the airport, neighboring counties and more. Try Transit Day is a regional event celebrated by Sarasota, Lee and Collier counties.

Earth Day and Beyond: Green Living Toolkit Editor's Pick

This organization offers a one-stop-shop for all Earth-loving events, classes, tours, community engagement and volunteer opportunities. You can even filter by area of interest. Learn how to become a better Earth citizen by following its calendar and sign up for the Green Living Toolkit newsletter to receive tips year-round.

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