MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced Work Play Earth Day volunteer events are returning this April.

The public has several opportunities to celebrate Earth Day (April 22) throughout the month through acts of service and outdoor recreation at Wisconsin state parks.

Earth Day was founded in 1970 by Wisconsin native Gov. Gaylord Nelson to raise awareness about air and water pollution. Today, Earth Day is observed around the globe and is commemorated as a full month of recognition, stewardship and celebration of the natural environment.

The public can participate in family-friendly activities that help enhance public lands. These events lead to lasting enhancements, increased awareness and continued support for Wisconsin’s state parks.

“Every year, we look forward to celebrating Earth Day with the public at our beautiful parks, forests, trails and recreation areas,” said Janet Hutchens, Wisconsin State Parks Friends Group and Volunteer Coordinator. “Working in our parks helps us feel more invested in the care of our public lands. It’s also a great way to enjoy the outdoors.”

Work Play Earth Day activities happening around the state include:

  • Planting trees
  • Installing benches
  • Removing invasive plants
  • Painting picnic tables and other structures
  • Raking and cleaning up leaves and picking up litter

Hours vary by event, with most beginning mid-morning and running through the early afternoon. Following service projects, volunteers are encouraged to stay, play and enjoy our state parks.

Anyone interested in volunteering for service projects is encouraged to sign up online through the DNR’s volunteer portal. Both individuals and groups may sign up online.

Friends Groups are co-sponsoring several events at many properties and often provide lunches or refreshments. A Friends Group is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose members volunteer their time, services and support to enhance Wisconsin’s state parks, forests, trails and recreation areas.


Be sure to check the DNR’s Events Calendar for specific event details. Events will continue being added throughout April.

Sign up to volunteer through the DNR’s volunteer portal.



Related Links

Volunteer Safety Instructor Home

Policies & Procedures

GoWild Guide for Instructors [PDF]

Lesson Plans (exit DNR)

Cover of the Spring 2023 issue of the Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine.

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