Protect Your Wild for Earth Day with Great Parks

The very first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970, at tens of thousands of locations across the country. Establishing this holiday was incredibly important to help the U.S. combat the unregulated pollution from large corporations before the dawn of the EPA. It wasn’t until 20 million Americans came together to preserve their natural resources that real change was made. Today Earth Day is celebrated far and wide but for us at Great Parks of Hamilton County, it comes down to three words: Protect Your Wild.

As a leader in conservation in our community, every day tends to feel like Earth Day at Great Parks. No matter the job here, the theme of conservation and preservation is present. Whether it’s our Conservation & Parks team’s approach to invasive species management and removal, or our Guest Relations team making sure guests know how they can help to ensure the parks are preserved for all. Great Parks takes great pride in providing year-round protection of our big lands so that generations to come can enjoy all the natural beauty they have to offer.

So with conservation being a year-round theme at the parks, how does our Earth Day celebration stand out? Last year our volunteer engagement department teamed up with the special events department for our first-ever Protect Your Wild event, a day jam-packed with service and celebration, which returns again this year.

Protect Your Wild includes a call to service in the morning and a chance to celebrate in the afternoon, all at one convenient location. Taking its structure from the long-standing Winton Woods Cleanup, the volunteer activities in the morning included 12 different sites where volunteers and staff collected trash and recyclables to help preserve and protect the local ecosystem at Winton Woods. For the first edition of this event, 172 volunteers contributed 516 hours of their time and collected a total of 155 bags of trash and 66 bags of recycling. Afterward, volunteers went over to Winton Harbor to enjoy the celebration portion of the day, with local sustainability-focused vendors, local food trucks, and many environmental organizations with fun and educational booths. This event was an opportunity for folks to give back and have a good time, because it’s important to protect the things you love and celebrate them too.

Protect Your Wild 2024 will be happening on Saturday, April 20. The volunteer portion will take place from 9 a.m. to noon throughout all of Winton Woods, followed by our celebration portion from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. To register to volunteer, click here.

Even if you can’t join us in the morning, everyone is invited to the celebration at Winton Woods Harbor. We hope you’ll join us for another year of this incredible event, as we celebrate Earth Day at Great Parks!