Earth Month 2021

Planet Protectors: In Celebration of Earth Day

Earth Day is a chance to reflect on our impact on our world and learn what we can do to make a positive impact instead of a negative one. For the first 22 days of April leading up to Earth day, the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden and other Planet Protectors in our community are sharing ways to give Earth some love.

Visit each day to learn more about a variety of daily topics including protecting water and soil resources, practicing recycling and celebrating the world around us.

Thank you to our Earth Day Planet Protector Partners

Blank Park Zoo

Corteva Agriscience

Friends of Des Moines Parks

Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge

The Brenton Arboretum

The Des Moines Bicycle Collective

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

The Climate Ribbon Project

Iowa Rivers Revival

Metro Waste Authority

MidAmerican Energy

Polk County Soil & Water Conservation District

Month Long Activities

  • Pollinator Parade – April 7-30

    • We invite you to get outside and celebrate Earth! In conjunction with Friends of Parks, Science Center of Iowa and Blank Park Zoo we created a pollinator themed scavenger hunt located throughout Des Moines. Locate the artwork and pollinator Q&A signs at each site, snap a photo and share using #dmpollinatorparade, #earthday, #dmearthdaytour, #dmlovespollinators or #earthdayeveryday. You could win free tickets, membership, and behind the scenes experiences from our generous Community Partners. Winners will be drawn at random at the end of April.
    • View the Pollinator Parade map here!
  • April Showers, Bring May Flowers Scavenger Hunt

    • Explore the Botanical Garden to see the many ways that plants and water interact. You will find beautiful flowers along the way!
  • Bloom With Us Silent Auction

    • Ever wonder what it’s like to see inside a MidAmerican wind turbine, enjoy beautiful private gardens and a course of a scrumptious meal at each stop, or to get expert garden advice from one of our horticulturists? These experiences and more are available to bid on now through April 15 in our Bloom With Us Silent Auction!

Earth Day at the Garden

Saturday, April 17, 2021
10 a.m. -5 p.m. 

Visit the Garden to celebrate Earth Day with FREE ADMISSION courtesy of the Principal Foundation

Secure timed-tickets between 9:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Secure timed-tickets between 1:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

  • Shed Sale: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

  • Story Sprouts: 10:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.

    • Join us for a fun, interactive story time that explores nature, plants and Earth day! Recommended for ages 2-5.
  • Propagation Activity: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. 

    • Learn about indoor plants that help create a healthy home. Practice plant propagation and take a cutting home with you! Activity available while supplies last!

Welcome Planet Protectors!

Week 1 Mission:

Plants- Earth’s Mightiest Heroes

April 1:  Welcome Planet Protectors

April 2:  Plant Avengers

April 3: Learn about Plants and the Water Cycle

  • The water cycle is the path all water follows as it moves around Earth in different states. Liquid water is found in oceans, rivers, lakes—and even underground. Solid water in the form of ice is found in glaciers and snow. Water vapor—a gas—is found in Earth’s atmosphere. Plants, especially trees, contribute to the water cycle via transpiration, where water evaporates from the surface of their leaves. Close to 10% of all water enters the water cycle due to plant transpiration. The water cycle can also be observed inside terrariums that house entire miniature ecosystems!

Week 2 Mission:
Protect our Water & Soil Resources

April 4: Why we should care about saving water and soil?

Conservation is not a job reserved for scientists, farmers, or foresters. It is up to each and every one of us to conserve our natural resources.

    • Saving our water: Our available water supply is finite: only 3% of water on Earth is fresh water, and only 0.5% is available for drinking. That means we need to use our limited water supply wisely and care for it properly.
    • Saving our soil: Soil conservation is important because soil provides food, filters air and water, and helps to transform bio waste into nutrients or plant life. Soil can be drained away or contaminated, destroying it for use.
  • Planet Protector: Iowa Rivers Revival 
    • Iowa’s rivers provide many benefits and values for Iowa communities including water for everyday use, recreation, and natural habitat for wildlife. There are many threats impacting the condition and quality of our rivers, including flooding, erosion, and pollution (what you can and can’t see). Iowa Rivers Revival is working to ensure our rivers are safe, clean, and enjoyable for future generations.
  • Resources
  • Especially for Kids

April 5: What’s going on under your feet

April 6: Capture the rain: rain barrels 

April 7:  Let rivers and streams run

April 8: Test the soil in your backyard

April 9: Plant Fact Friday 

  • Tune into our Facebook page for our weekly Plant Fact Friday video. This week’s topic? Water and soil!

April 10: Soak up the rain with a rain garden

Week 3 Mission:
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

April 11: Learn The New Three “Rs”

April 12: Be a super recycler!

  • Recycling helps reduce the pollution caused by waste.
  • Planet Protector: Metro Waste Authority
  • It’s time to reduce your trash! Check out Metro Waste Authority’s fun website with videos, puzzles and games to help you be a super recycler.

April 13:  From trash to garden treasure 

  •  Recycle “trash” into garden treasures. Watch this video about recycling items to make a fairy garden!
  • At The Garden
    • Donate to, and plan to attend, the Earth Day Shed Sale: Saturday, April 17th 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. 
      • The Shed Sale promotes re-using by finding new homes for items no longer needed or wanted. Bring in gently used items to the Garden front desk for another gardener to enjoy. Proceeds will support the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. More information can be found here.

April 14: Make a plastic bag bracelet

April 15:  Watch wind power

April 16: Hidden Garden Treasures

  • Tune into our Facebook page for our weekly Plant Fact Friday video. This week’s topic? The three Rs!

April 17:  FREE ADMISSION! Celebrate Earth Day with a visit to the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

Free admission to the Botanical Garden is possible through support from Principal Foundation.

  • At The Garden
  • Earth Day Shed Sale: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. 
    • Find an array of garden and botanical treasures for both new and experienced gardeners as well as those who don’t dig in the dirt at all! The Earth Day Shed Sale includes gently used and unused items. Proceeds will support the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. More information can be found here.
  • Story Sprouts: 10:30 – 11 a.m. 
    • Join us for a fun, interactive story time that explores nature, plants and Earth Day! Recommended for ages 2-5. FREE
  • Earth Day Propagation:  11 a.m. – 3 p.m. FREE while supplies last!
    • Learn about indoor plants that help create a healthy home. Practice plant propagation and take a cutting home with you!
    • Groups work at their own page while socially distanced. Masks are required for all visitors two years and older. Capacity will be limited to no more than 15 people at one time with sanitizing in between each person/group.
  • Make a Climate Ribbon: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    • The Climate Ribbon is an art ritual asking participants to write a response to the following question on a ribbon: “What do you love and hope to never lose to climate chaos?” Add your ribbon to the framework created from natural materials from the Garden. Learn more at The Climate Ribbon Project website.
  • Make a stop on the Pollinator Parade and share one social!
    • We invite you to get outside and celebrate Earth! In conjunction with Friends of Parks, Science Center of Iowa and Blank Park Zoo we created a pollinator themed scavenger hunt located throughout Des Moines. Locate the artwork and pollinator Q&A signs at each site, snap a photo and share using hashtags listed on nearby signage. You could win free tickets, membership, and behind the scenes experiences from our generous Community Partners. Winners will be drawn at random at the end of April.
    • View the Pollinator Parade map here!

 

Week 4 Mission:
Get Outside and Enjoy the Outdoors!

April 18: Create a nature journal

  • Explore the world around you through a journal to look at nature from different perspectives and to create a lasting memory of your experience.
  • Planet Protector:  The Brenton Arboretum
    • Check out the natural world of trees in your backyard, at a local park and at The Brenton Arboretum.
  • Especially for kids

April 19: Get your bike ready to roll

  • Planet protector:  The Des Moines Bicycle Collective
  • Planet protector:  Friends of Des Moines Parks
    • Make a stop on the Pollinator Parade and share one social!
      • We invite you to get outside and celebrate Earth! In conjunction with Friends of Parks, Science Center of Iowa and Blank Park Zoo we created a pollinator themed scavenger hunt located throughout Des Moines. Locate the artwork and pollinator Q&A signs at each site, snap a photo and share using hashtags listed on nearby signage. You could win free tickets, membership, and behind the scenes experiences from our generous Community Partners. Winners will be drawn at random at the end of April.
      • View the Pollinator Parade map here!

April 20: See a prairie ecosystem & make an insect hotel

April 21: Learn why native plants matter

April 22: It is Earth Day! Your mission continues!

Today is Earth Day. Take time today to pause and reflect on what you’ve learned about our relationship with the environment.

  • Maybe you already learned and tried some new things. But if not, don’t think it’s too late. Essentially every day is Earth Day. Your actions matter, and each of us can have a positive impact on our planet. And you can start today. Get outside and appreciate nature!
    • Sit Spots_Journal (dmbotanicalgarden.com)
    • Make a Climate Ribbon
    • Go plogging
      • Plogging — a combination of Swedish words plocka (to pick up) and jogga (to jog) — is any physical activity where not only do you exercise for personal health, you also collect litter in the process. Pick up litter on your daily jog or walk around the neighborhood — the important thing is to have fun while doing it!
    • Great Global Cleanup (earthday.org)
    • Plant something
      • The sun is shining. Temps have risen. It’s time to plant something! Visit the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden for ideas and inspiration!
      • Container Gardening

Calendar of Events

For a complete listing of upcoming events, explore our Event Calendar.

Event Calendar