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Guide To Celebrating Earth Day In Omaha (2024)

Recycling and consciously minimizing your carbon footprint is a year-round thing for a lot of people. But once a year, an emphasis is made to connect people with more environmental organizations and new ways to “Go Green.” That day is Earth Day. Earth Day in Omaha is celebrated with a variety of events. Here’s a guide to Earth Day events in Omaha this year!

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Related story: Arbor Day events around Nebraska in 2024

2024 Earth Day events in Omaha

Even though Earth Day is officially held on April 22 this year, festivities and events are planned before and after that date. The following are events scheduled in 2024:

A woman plants a small sapling

Earth Day in Bellevue (April 14)

Green Bellevue will host Earth Day Bellevue on April 14 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Bellevue University Admin Building at 1401 Englewood Drive, along with Bellevue Native Plant Society, Milkweed Matters and the Bellevue Tree Board and sponsored by Omaha Public Power District, Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District, Papillion Sanitation and T.E.A.M. Meet local environmental groups and vendors, and enjoy door prizes, a scavenger hunt and a raffle.

The global 2024 EarthDay.org theme is “Planet vs. Plastics,” so this Bellevue event will feature Solutions Plastic’s options for plastic reuse here in our metro area. Special guest, Firstar Fiber’s Solutions Plastics, will be on hand to share about how they are turning the Hefty orange bag materials into useful materials.

The event will also be an opportunity to learn about Green Bellevue initiatives:

  • Bee City USA: Native plant sale, Bellevue Native Plant Society, Milkweed Maters, Pollination Alliance of the Heartland, Bellevue Tree Board and others.
  • Green Schools: Local green student clubs will share about efforts with composting in the lunchroom and more.

Party For The Planet

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium celebrates Earth Day on April 20 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. during Party for the Planet. Activities are included with admission.

Activities will include:

  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Sustainability Market (in the Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom Pavilion)
  • Ambassador Animal Presentations at 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30 a.m., 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. (in the Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom Pavilion)
  • Art for Conservation Presented by Bryan High School (in the Scott Aquarium Conference Center)
  • Joel Sartore’s National Geographic Photo Ark Mini Gallery (in the Scott Aquarium Conference Center)
  • Golf for the Gulf (at the Desert Dome Plaza)
  • Vendor Booths (at the Desert Dome Plaza)
  • Orangutan Sticker Fundraising Booth (at the Desert Dome Plaza)
  • Giraffe Keeper Talk at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. (at Syd & Betty Cate Giraffe Herd Rooms)
  • Orangutan Sticker Fundraising Booth (at Hubbard Gorilla Valley)

Activities this year were planned by Zoo Academy high school students! Each event element from logo design to day of activities is led by passionate, conservation-loving students.

Little Busters Park Cleanup (April 20)

This annual park cleanup at Hitchcock Nature Center coincides with Earth Day events, and I think it’s a natural fit for this list. On April 20, join other volunteers to pick up litter around the park located at 27792 Ski Hill Loop, Honey Creek, Iowa. It’s an activity that’s open to all ages. There is a park entry fee.

Check-in is at two locations: Loess Hills Lodge at Hitchcock Nature Center or Ski Lodge at Mt. Crescent Ski Area. Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own trash bags and protective gloves. After gathering trash, head to a check-out station to weigh and record your findings.

Earth Day at the C (April 20)

Head to Lake Cunningham for an outdoor celebration of sustainability and appreciation for the planet. Earth Day at the C will be held on April 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the marina; use Entrance 1 located at 8965 State St. It is free and open to the public.

The marina at Lake Cunningham in Omaha
Lake Cunningham

The event will feature a community village where you can learn about environmental sustainability, horticulture, regenerative agriculture, wildlife, outdoor recreation, and more. Participating organizations include Community Bike Project Omaha, Omaha Permaculture, Pollinator Alliance of the Heartland, Moore’s Landscaping & Nursery, Saving Grace Perishable Food Rescue, Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society, Nebraska Extension Office, and Earth Sculptors.

Family-friendly activities held during Earth Day at the C include fishing, archery, arts and crafts, and enjoy s’mores by the campfire. There will also be food trucks and prizes given away.

Earth Day at Mulhall’s (April 20)

Earth Day will be celebrated in the greenhouse at Mulhall’s, 3615 N. 120th St., on April 20 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will give you a chance to meet and chat with organizations like The Nature Conservancy, Hillside Solutions, Heron Haven, Whispering Roots, and Keep Omaha Beautiful.

There will also be mini seminars where you can learn practical tips for reducing your carbon footprint. Learn about sustainable planting from the team at Mulhall’s; get an overview on hydroponics from Whispering Roots; and learn about the Platte River Prairie from The Nature Conservancy.

There will also be live music from local singer-songwriter Andre Vander Velde, as well as local restaurants selling food. Kitchen Table will have sandwiches and salads, The Grove Juicery will sell juices, and Coneflower Creamery will have their farm-to-cone ice cream.

Earth Day Meet The Expert (April 20)

Habitat Omaha ReStore will hold Earth Day: Meet The Expert on April 20 from 1 to 3 p.m. at their West Omaha location at 10910 Emmet St. Nebraska Extension Master Gardner Debbie Brozanic will give two free presentations that day at 1 and 2 p.m.

Brozanic has volunteered with the Nebraska Extension of Douglas and Sarpy counties since 2016. She has been composting since 2000. After several seasons of compost failures, she finally started to have success. Presentation will include a compost demonstration and Q & A.

Earth Day at the RiverFront (April 21)

The RiverFront’s Earth Day will be held at the Lewis & Clark Landing on April 21 from 1 to 5 p.m. Organizations from around the Omaha community will be on hand to discuss their nature and sustainability practices. 

While there, step aboard one of Metro Transit’s electric buses to learn more about their impact. Then, head over to Heartland of America Park for an afternoon movie in the park featuring “The Lorax,” beginning at 3 p.m.

Earth Day Storywalk (April 21-28)

Families with young children can go to Gene Leahy Mall for an educational storywalk all about Earth Day. Read about Nebraska resources and wildlife as well as sustainability at The RiverFront. It’s free and runs April 21-28.

Earth Day Omaha (April 27)

The city’s largest celebration is year is Earth Day Omaha. This year, it will be held on April 27 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Elmwood Park in Midtown Omaha. This is its 35th year! The free event will have more 100 green exhibitors, family-friendly activities, hands-on demonstrations, educational displays, food & drink, and live music from local bands.

Women wearing volunteer shirts pick up trash for recycling

I’ve brought my family to Earth Day Omaha and the kid’s activities are great! If this will be your first year going to the event with kids, I recommend checking out the Children’s Tent with Nebraska Recycling Council, Army Corp of Engineers & 4-H Extension. There will also be the Health & Wellness Area with Approach Climbing and tree climbing with Nebraska Statewide Arboretum and Nebraska Forest Service.

Other highlights include BFF Omaha MaMo Gallery, the Swap Omaha Clothing Swap, and a beer garden. Parking is limited at Elmwood Park, so it’s encouraged to bike there. Mode Shift Omaha will have a Bike Valet and bike parking available.

The schedule of events this year is:

  • 11 a.m. – Welcome Announcement / Kickoff
  • 11 a.m.-12 p.m. – Yoga with Lora McCarville
  • 11 a.m.-12 p.m. – Bicycle Tour: Sustainable Housing Project (in the demo tent)
  • 12-12:30 p.m. – David Corbin
  • 12-1 p.m. – Earthen Floor Demo (in the demo tent)
  • 12:30-1 p.m. – Friend of the Environment Awards presented by Papio NRD
  • 1-2 p.m – Worm Composting (in the demo tent)
  • 1:15-5:30 p.m. – DJ Crabrangucci
  • 1:30-2 p.m. – TRASHION SHOW w/ BFF Omaha and Swap Omaha
  • 2-3 p.m. – Tour of UNO Campus (in the demo tent)
  • 2:15-2:45 p.m. – SGT. LEISURE
  • 3-3:30 p.m. – BAD SELF PORTRAITS
  • 3-3:30 p.m. – Solar: Clean Energy, Climate Action (in the demo tent)
  • 3:30-4 p.m. – Backyard Pet Waste Composting (in the demo tent)
  • 3:45-4:30 p.m. – KIDS SHOWCASE
  • 4-4:30 p.m. – Simple Home Soil Testing (in the demo tent)
  • 4:30-5 p.m. – Rain Gardens: Catch Every Drop (in the demo tent)
  • 4:45-5:15 p.m. – SCHOOL OF ROCK
  • 5:30-6 p.m. – UN-TIL

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