Love the River During Earth Month with Your National Park

By Maria DeLaundreau, Floodplain Restoration Project Coordinator, Mississippi River Fund

Water in, on, and above the Earth.

Earth Day is approaching! It's a day to celebrate, honor, and rejuvenate our connection with the earth. Protecting and connecting with our waters is important, especially when we have a river of national significance in our backyards. This year, commemorate your river and the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.

There are many ways to celebrate Earth Day, so many it's hard to fit all the activity into one day. This is why we expand the holiday into "Earth Month." Here's a list of ways to honor the Earth and care for your national park:

1. Meet up with others who care about the planet at an Earth Month service event. This is the most traditional way to observe the holiday and there are many events along the river that are sure to be close to home and fit your schedule.

Volunteering is a time-honored tradition for Earth Day.

Beautify Bottineau
April 18, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Gluek Park, Minneapolis
Come help clean up the park in the Bottineau Neighborhood of Minneapolis.
To register, email

River Ramble 
April 30, 5:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
Hidden Falls Regional Park, St. Paul
Join us in our efforts to restore Hidden Falls! Work with a National Park Service ranger before being rewarded with a short performance by Ben Weaver.

Spring Planting in Lilydale
May 9, 9:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

Lilydale Regional Park
Plant trees and shrubs to restore one of Saint Paul's beautiful riverside gems. Volunteers will plant over 1,000 native trees and shrubs and take a guided bird walk.
Register here.

If you are looking for other Earth Day and river volunteer events, visit our events page and those of our partners: Friends of the Mississippi River, Saint Paul Parks and Recreation, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Three Rivers.

2. Bring your family to Junior Ranger Day. 

April 25, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Mississippi River Visitor Center

Drop into the visitor center for activities and the opportunity to earn your junior ranger badge!

No registration necessary.

Kids become Junior Rangers after completing
activities and being "sworn in" by a real park ranger!

Try the Ranger on Call
audio tour of the riverfront.

3. Tour the river with Ranger on Call. You can walk, ride your bike, or rent a Nice Ride and enjoy an audio tour of the Mississippi River. 

Tours are based at several sites within the park, including downtown Minneapolis, Coldwater Spring, Fort Snelling, downtown Saint Paul, Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary, and Hastings riverfront.

4. Share your love for the river on social media. We have a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogger, Instagram, and Twitter. Here are some steps you can take to tell the world about how great our river is: 

Show your love on social media:
Facebook, LinkedIn
Instagram, and Twitter.

  • Like and follow us on social media
  • Tag the Mississippi River Fund and Mississippi National River and Recreation Area in your posts about the park and river
  • Ask us questions and write comments on our pages and posts-we are love to interact with you!
  • If you get photographed at one of our events, tag yourself and your friends in our pictures
  • Use some of our favorite hastags: #mississippiriver, #gotmissriverfun, #nps

5. Become a member. This is a great way to show your support for your national park and help get kids on the river, restore river habitat, preserve historic and culturally significant landmarks, and protecting fish and wildlife that rely on a healthy river ecosystem.

As a thank you for your generosity, you will receive:

  • Mississippi River Fund email and paper newsletters featuring events and news from the fund and the park
  • Discounts for special events
  • Access to annual members-only event
  • Special benefits at all levels-see our website
Find your park. Become a member.
Members get discounted tickets to events, including River City Revue.

This month do something extra to show your love for the earth, and your park. Remember, it takes more than one holiday to make a lasting change. Keep checking our events page to find ways to stay involved with your park year-round.

Happy Earth Day!