Ann Arbor's Annual Earth Day Festival


Join us on Sunday, April 28th, 2019 from 12-4 for an afternoon of celebrating the Earth through entertainment, education, exploration, and fun!

Parking can be limited at the event so visitors are strongly encouraged to "go green" and carpool, bus, bike, or walk to the festival. Washtenaw Bicycling and Walking Coalition will be offering a free bike corral to those that ride in and the AATA Route 23 and 65 stop at Plymouth Rd., only a short walk from the event. Details on the bus route can be found on the AATA website here.


About the Festival

The Ann Arbor Earth Day Festival is an annual celebration coordinated by the Ann Arbor Earth Day Festival Planning Committee, a coalition of local environmental nonprofits and agencies, and held at Leslie Science & Nature Center.


This free, family-friendly event features displays from 40 local environmental, nonprofit, and governmental organizations; live animal demonstrations; hands-on activities; live entertainment; green building & commuting technologies; energy topics; water awareness; sustainable agriculture; and more.


In the true spirit of Earth Day, this festival will again be a Zero Waste event, with the help from Recycle Ann Arbor. Visitors can help keep up the average of 90% waste diverted from landfills during the Earth Day Event by bringing their reusable water bottle, and putting their waste in the right receptacles.


Ann Arbor’s Earth Day Festival is a free event thanks to local donors and sponsors!



City of Ann Arbor Parks & Recreation 
City of Ann Arbor Solid Waste
Dollar Bill Copying
Ecology Center 
Leslie Science & Nature Center
NSF International 
Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation
Washtenaw Bicycling and Walking Coalition
ACS - Huron Valley Local Section


Entertainment & Learning Presentations at the Festival




Family Entertainment

Adult Learning Presentations

Family Learning

12:30-1:30 Michigan Moon Storytime
Enjoy a playful storytime with  Meg Gower, local naturalist and author of Michigan Moon & Breakfast Moon.  Meg will read her books about native Michigan plants and animals which need our protection, and the phases of our closest celestial partner.   STEM concepts will be highlighted with interactive games.  Book sale/signing to follow.   Please bring cash.

12:30-1:15 Invasive Agricultural Pests
Learn how USDA Scientists work to safeguard Michigan Agriculture from potential invasive threats hitching a ride on international cargo. They will talk about significant pest threats including European Cherry Fruit Fly, Asian Longhorned Beetle, Spotted Lanternfly, and Giant African Snails. The presentation will also highlight technology used in making pest identifications remotely. Close up views of mites associated with honey bees and other pests are shown to highlight the pest identification process. After their talk, visit the USDA table to explore their insect drawers and more information on the invasive pests discussed. Presentation by Toby Glik, USDA Entomologist/Acarologist Identifier.

12:30-1:15  Compost demo
Project Grow

Hot-Composting & Vermi-Composting Demo

A demonstration of Hot-Composting, Vermi-Composting, and Compost Gardening.  Hot Composting demo is about how to produce humus (the finished compost) using a cooking recipe by Nature.  Vermi-Composting demo is about how to produce vermicast (a worm manure fertilizer) through a cold composting method using earthworms. Compost Gardening demo will show how humus and worm casting can be used in gardening.  Presentors:  Joet Reoma, Jennie Williams, and Jesse Raudenbush - Master Gardeners and Master Composters from the Washtenaw County Master Composter Certificate Program (MCCP) and Board members of Project Grow Community Gardens.



1:30-2:15 The Science & Practice of Forest Bathing
A growing body of research shows spending time in nature has a positive impact on our health!  Learn about the science behind Forest Therapy, a practice based on Shinrin-Yoku, also called "Forest Bathing"  by the Japanese, then go outside for a  Forest Therapy demonstration. Presentation by Cayla R. Samano, artist, author and certified Forest Therapy Guide.

1:30-2:15 Wild Flying Spring Bees
Join Bee scientist Gordon Fitch on an engaging, hands-on hike through the gardens to learn about the amazing diversity of wild native urban bees, and how we can support them.

Come dressed as your favorite flora or fauna and prance, preen, pounce, and frolic throughout the Festival Grounds. The All Species Parade is a tradition that began at the first Earth Day Festival and continues today. Parade begins at the lawn behind the Leslie House.

2:45-3:30 Joe Reilly
Sing along with beloved local singer/songwriter Joe Reilly.  Joe’s songs are playful, clever, engaging, joyful, and always have something meaningful to say.  They celebrate our connections to the natural world while teaching environmental science and stewardship. Joe will be joined by percussionist Lori Fithian of Drummunity for the performance.

2:30-3:15 Manoomin: The Story of Wild Rice in Michigan
Learn about the rich tradition of wild rice in Michigan and its importance to the Anishinaabek people who live here.  Barb Barton,  Author of Manoomin: The Story of Wild Rice in Michigan, will touch on the history, culture, biology, economics, and spirituality surrounding this sacred plant.  She will discuss the historic wild rice beds that once existed in Michigan, why many disappeared, and the efforts of tribal and nontribal people to restore and protect Manoomin across the landscape. Book sale/signing to follow.   Please bring cash. Barb Barton is an endangered species biologist,  life-long wild foods forager, and award-winning singer-songwriter.

2:30-3:15 Emma Environmentalist Storybook Hike
Join author Christy Crews Kenyon on a nature hike through the gardens and woods to take care of our planet! She will read her book, Emma Environmentalist, a children's book that focuses on the real world issue of plastic in our waters.  The hike will inspire local actions to protect our rivers, Great Lakes, and the oceans beyond.  Christy will be joined by her mother Denise Crews who also is the illustrator of her book.   Book sale/signing to follow.   Please bring cash.


Ongoing Events:

Ann Arbor Hands on Museum Wind Exhibits
LSNC Led Nature Walks
LSNC Led Live Animal Presentations
Lawn Games

Exhibitors at the Festival

We will be joined by a variety of environmental non-profits and for-profits sharing information and activities that help us celebrate our earth!


AAATA / The Ride


Acton Academy


A2 City - Sustainability & Energy


A2 City - Solid Waste


A2 City - Drinking Water & Stormwater


A2 City - Natural Areas Preservation


Ann Arbor Back Yard Beekeepers


Ann Arbor Citizens Climate Lobby


Ann Arbor Cohousing


Ann Arbor Elders Climate Action Chapter


Ann Arbor Forest School


Apple Playschools


Bee Present Honey


Clean Water Action


Climate Change and Earth Care Taskforce of ICPJ


DTE Energy - Residential Energy Efficiency Program


Ecology Center


Friends of the Border to Border Trail


Great Lakes Renewable Energy Assoc.


Huron River Watershed Council


Huron Valley ACS


Leslie Science & Nature Center


Michigan State University Extension


National Wildlife Federation


Nature Learning Community


Recycle Ann Arbor


Scio Residents for Safe Water


Sierra Club Huron Valley


U-M Planet Blue




Veterans for Peace Chapter 93


Washtenaw County Parks









Food Vendors at the Festival

Cosa Sabrosa

Hero or Villian

Ray's Red Hots

Volunteer at the Festival
The festival does not operate without the help of a lot of volunteers. If you would like to volunteer during the festival please sign up here through these great organizations:

GIVE365                  Recycle Ann Arbor

Press Materials

The Ann Arbor Earth Day Festival Planning Committee is comprised of volunteers from the City of Ann Arbor, Ecology Center, Give 365, Leslie Science & Nature Center, Wahtenaw County Parks, and Recycle Ann Arbor. If you have questions about the festival, feel free to reach out to us!