National Wildlife Refuge System
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Earth Day Cleanups

A pair of Youth Conservation Corps volunteers pulls invasive water chestnut from a lake at Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge in Massachusetts. River and lake cleanups are on tap at many national wildlife refuges for Earth Day.
A pair of Youth Conservation Corps hires pulls invasive water chestnut from a lake at Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge in Massachusetts. River and lake cleanups are on tap at many national wildlife refuges for Earth Day.
Credit: Maddie List/USFWS

Earth Day, April 22, has been set aside since 1970 to celebrate the earth’s richness, recognize its fragility and educate people about what they can do to help protect the planet. Many refuges will host public events on or near that date. 

Use the “Find Your Refuge” feature on the Refuge System homepage to see if a refuge in your area has planned an event. Or go to the Visitors tab on the yellow bar at the top of the page, and click on Special Events in the pull-down menu.

  • McNary National Wildlife Refuge, WA

Saturday, April 9, 9 a.m. to noon
Put on your grubs and help clean up trash at the refuge. Two cleanup areas are reachable on foot; a third area is reachable by kayak. Bring gloves. Meet at the McNary Environmental Education Center. Learn more about McNary Refuge.

  • Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, MD

Saturday, April 9, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
Help clean litter from the roadways in and around the refuge. Meet at the visitor center and stay as long as you like. Learn more about Blackwater Refuge.

  • Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, GA

Saturday, April 16, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
Take part in a litter pickup (8 a.m. to 10 a.m.) followed by activities. 
Learn more about Okefenokee Refuge.

  • J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, FL

Friday, April 22, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Make earth crafts, take a guided native plant walk on Indigo Trail, enter a fun kids contest, and enjoy free bike rentals and free admission to Wildlife Drive for hikers and bikers (the drive is closed to all vehicular traffic that day). Learn how to make “yarn” out of disposable plastic bags to weave into sturdy, reusable shopping bags. Learn more about “Ding” Darling Refuge.

  • Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge, IN

Saturday, April 23, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Learn more about Muscatatuck Refuge.

  • Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge, TX

Saturday, April 30, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Clean the refuge and enjoy a host of activities at the Champion Lake Public Use Area. Activities include canoeing, kayaking, boat tours, bird and butterfly viewing, walking the levee trail and dip netting and fishing lessons for kids. Learn more about Trinity River Refuge.


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