Celebrate Earth Day at state parks

Activities include work parties, guided hikes and interpretive programs

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and numerous partners invite the public to celebrate Earth Day at or near more than a dozen parks around the state. Earth Day, April 22, is also a free day when visitors don’t need a Discover Pass for day-use visits to parks by vehicle.

Earth Day events include work parties to remove invasive plants, guided hikes to learn about native plants and interpretive programs for young people and adults.

The following state parks are hosting Earth Day events: (Unless noted, events are Saturday, April 22.)

Bridle Trails State Park 9 a.m. to noon, Bellevue
Celebrate Earth Day by removing non-native invasive holly and blackberry, weeding native plant garden and planting trees for screening. The Foundation will provide snacks, beverages and pizza. Some tools will be available, but please bring gloves, hand pruners and shovels. Consider carpooling; parking is limited. Saltwater State Park 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Des Moines
The Friends of Saltwater State Park has a day full of activities planned. Seattle Aquarium interpreters will talk about the park’s beach life. Local volunteers will lead hikes. And there’ll even be a dive to the reef that lies just off shore. More information on the Friends of Saltwater State Park’s Facebook page.

Manchester State Park Noon to 6 p.m. Port Orchard
Join Kitsap County Master Gardeners and native plant specialists at the park for the start of Native Plant Appreciation Week. The interactive presentation will begin at the Torpedo Warehouse. Get information on local native plants, ask questions and join a guided tour of the park’s Interpretive Trail, which is short and level. All ages are welcome. Plant identification materials will be available.

Kopachuck State Park Parks Appreciation Day
8:45 a.m. to noon
Each year, the city of Gig Harbor rallies volunteers to spruce up parks in the area, including Kopachuck State Park. The focus at Kopachuck this year will be to attack the invasive English ivy growing around trees in the park. Park staff recommend that participants bring spring (lawn and leaf) rakes, loppers, small bypass pruners, flat shovels, round shovels and screwdrivers. Meet park staff in the day use parking lot between 8:45 and 9 a.m. Volunteers from all the parks are invited to a hot-dog lunch starting at noon at Sehmel Homestead Park, 10123 78th Ave., NW, Gig Harbor.

– Washington State Parks