Here are Earth Day 2024 Milwaukee-area events and cleanups

Fifty years ago, millions of people across the United States showed up at thousands of events with the aim of creating a cleaner environment.

The day, April 22, 1970, is now known as Earth Day.

Wisconsin has ties to origins of Earth Day and the environmental movement. The former Wisconsin governor and U.S. senator Gaylord Nelson helped launch the first Earth Day in the U.S. in 1970. Wisconsin’s connection to conservationists also include people like John Muir, Aldo Leopold and Lorrie Otto, among others.

Now, more than five decades later, Earth Day is celebrated across the globe with environmental events and cleanups. From sustainable celebrations to environmental education to neighborhood cleanups, here’s a lineup of Earth Day activities in the Milwaukee area.

Kimberlyn Lopez, 19, picks up a jacket during the 27th Milwaukee Riverkeeper annual Spring Cleanup Saturday, April 23, 2022, at along South 16th Street in Milwaukee. "I don't like how people normalize throwing trash out of their window when they are driving," she said. "Over time, it ruins and destroys the world that we live in."

Milwaukee Riverkeeper Spring Cleanup

Milwaukee Riverkeeper’s annual cleanup of the Milwaukee River runs is on April 20, 2024 at more than 90 locations across the Milwaukee River Basin. You can find information, including registration, on the website If you have any questions, you can contact or call 414-342-0892.

Ken Leinbach, center, helps plant an oak tree Oct. 18 at the Rotary Centennial Arboretum at the Urban Ecology Center's Riverside Park location. Leinback retired as UEC's executive director in June after 25 years. Assisting him in the tree planting are UEC volunteer Kevin Whaley (left) and Jeremy Rappaport, UEC land steward.

Earth Week at the Urban Ecology Center

The UEC is hosting an extensive lineup of environmentally conscious “Earth Week” activities from Saturday, April 20 to Saturday, April 27 at its three branches: Riverside Park, 1500 E. Park Place; Menomonee Valley, 3700 W. Pierce St.; and Washington Park, temporarily located at Washington Park Pool House ― 4023 W. Galena St.

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