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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

50th Earth Day Take On Climate Change (Many Events Have Changed due to COVID-19)

The events described in this section were scheduled to take place at the time we went to press. Please check ahead to confirm their status.

On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans- 10 percent of the nation- took to the streets and campuses to protest environmental degradation so severe that rivers were literally catching on fire. That groundswell was followed by the passage of landmark environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, and creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, laws soon adopted by many other countries.

Half a century later, as temperatures approach 70 degrees in Antarctica, catastrophic wildfires race through Australia and species die off around the world, the planet's status seems anything but golden. On this Earth Day, the climate crisis that precipitated these events and trends take center stage: The goal is to mobilize millions, perhaps billions, of Earth's human inhabitants to rise up in its defense. "The urgency has never been greater and the stakes have never been higher," say the organizers of the Earth Day Network. "We are now in an environmental emergency and a climate breakdown. The wolds needs you- and your actions- for Earth Day 2020."

To learn about personal actions, including step-by-step instructions on how to organize and event, consult Participants can join in cleanup of trash from rivers, beaches, streets and forests; host a tech-in; take part in climate strike or campus rally to show united action; join the world's largest citizen science initiative to document declining environmental conditions and participate in social media campaigns to raise awareness.

Help Collier and Lee counties celebrate victories and support future progress by participating in theses local Earth Day 2020 events.

Earth Day 24,901 Mile Run/Walk Challenge 

April 1-30 

The goal is to collectively see how many times participants can run the distance of the equator: 24,901 miles. Organizers need at least 415 people to commit to run at least two miles a day for the month to try to reach that number. Runners, walkers or joggers of all shapes, sizes and fitness levels may join this epic challenge. Recruit friends, family and co-workers. Log miles and report them via results page daily or weekly which will be tallied toward the overall goal.

Free participation. For more information, visit  Share your mission by tagging @VirtualRunChallenge and #VRCEarthDayChallenge.

Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens – Party for the Planet

9 a.m. to 1 p.m., April 4

One of more than 100 U.S. accredited zoos and aquariums participating in North America’s largest combined Earth Day celebration, the Naples Zoo will host conservation groups and local businesses that’ll discuss living more sustainably. Guests can enjoy education stations, free Earth-friendly gifts from participating partners and a giveaway of 5,000 native sapling trees. 

Free to Collier County residents. Location: 1590 Goodlette Rd., Naples. For more information, call 239-262-5409 or visit

Earth Day Re-Use and Recycle Roundup

9 a.m. to 4 p.m., April 9

Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida encourage residents to donate gently used clothing, shoes and books, electronics, household items, computers and cell phones. Also, free shredding of documents is offered by Goodwill Secure Shred. Residents can rid medicine cabinets and homes of unused, unnecessary or expired medicines with safe disposal by Drug Free Collier’s Operation Medicine Chest. Hazardous household chemicals, all types of batteries, latex and oil-based paints, used motor oil and filters, tires 18 inches or smaller, antifreeze, fluorescent bulbs, ink cartridges, cardboard, plastics #1-7, mercury-containing devices, aluminum electronics, ballasts, and medical sharps and needles are also accepted for collection by Collier County Solid Waste Management.

Location: Naples Town Center parking lot, 3759 Tamiami Tr. E., Naples. For more information, call 239-252-7575.

Great American Cleanup

Collier County’s “Bay Days”

8 to 11 a.m., April 18

Coordinated by Keep Collier Beautiful, Inc, cleanup signup sites will be in Everglades City, Barfoot Beach, Delnor Wiggins Pass, Vanderbilt Beach, Lowdermilk Park, Naples Pier, Clam Pass, Rookery Bay, Tiger Tail Beach, Golden Gate Canal, Isle of Capri, Ten Thousands Islands National Wildlife Refuge, Naples Bay, Haldeman Creek, Immokalee, Naples Cruise Club Key Island and FSW’s Adopted Canal. 

Volunteers needed. For more information, call 239-580-8319, email [email protected] or visit

Conservancy of Southwest Florida Earth Day Festival

10 a.m. to 3 p.m., April 18

Event will include many vendors and environmental exhibitors showcasing fun, educational and entertaining family activities and experiences. Visitors can enjoy live music, festival food, crafts, live animal programs and more. Eat, play and learn while experiencing the Conservancy Nature Center buildings and take an electric boat ride, rent a kayak or canoe or walk a nature trail. Super Science Show with Glen Beitmen. Food trucks will be on site. Children can enjoy hands-on activities and crafts in the Conservancy’s Kids Zone.

Cost: free for members, $10 adults, $5 children 3 to 12. Location: 1495 Smith Preserve Way, off Goodlette Rd., Naples. For more information, call 239-430-2466 or visit

FGCU Earth Day Celebration

1 to 4 p.m., April 18

Meet and greet with local conversation groups, keynote discussion with bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe with Q&A, plus book signing, and panel discussion with FGCU environmental experts. 

Location: FGCU Veterans Pavilion, adjacent to Campus Library, 10501 FGCU Blvd. S., Fort Myers. For more information, visit

Movie on the Lawn: Hoot

8 to 9:30 p.m., April 21

Celebrate Earth Day and view this adaptation of a Carl Hiassen book about a group of Florida kids on a mission to save an endangered burrowing owl population from development. Outdoor bar, including adult beverages, popcorn and food, provided by Naples Flatbread. Well-behaved pets are welcome.

Location: Mercato, 9132 Strada Place, Naples.

Earth Day at the Refuge

J.N. “Ding” Darling

National Wildlife Refuge

7 a.m. to 4 p.m., April 22

 Visitors can bike or hike Wildlife Drive for free from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., with free bike rentals provided by Tarpon Bay Explorers (pick up at Tarpon Bay Recreation Area). At 9 a.m. meet at the flagpole for a guided bike tour. The first 50 guests receive a free gift. Enjoy cookies and a Blue Goose meet-and-greet in the Visitor & Education Center at 10 a.m. Have fun with Animal Origami all day in the Center. Watch the film Plastic Paradise for free at 1 p.m. At 2 p.m., the refuge leads a Scavenger Hunt on Indigo Trail. 


Location: 1 Wildlife Dr., Sanibel. For more information, call 239-472-1100, ext. 236, or visit

Lee County Great American Cleanup

a.k.a. “Earth Day Trash Bash”

8 to 11 a.m., April 25

Keep Lee County Beautiful recruits volunteers, site captains, area managers and local sponsors to foster unity and strengthen bonds through county-wide beautification and improvement efforts, part of the nationwide Great American Cleanup effort. Projects may include community gardens, habitat restoration, invasive plant removal, litter-free events, litter cleanups, landscape maintenance and planting, playground/park equipment restoration and tree plantings. 

Location sites and event dates vary. For more information or to register, call 239-334-3488 or visit

Citizen’s Climate Lobby and Future Forestry

Earth Day Planting Event

9 to 11 a.m., April 25

Commemorating the 50th celebration of Earth Week and the day after, Arbor Day.

Location: Burnst Store Rd. & NW 12th Terrace, Cape Coral. For more information, email [email protected].

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