Do it this weekend: Festivals and volunteer cleanup events in the name of Earth Day

Even though Earth Day is officially on Thursday, April 22, we like to start celebrating early here in the Bay Area. So take your pick from these family-friendly Earth Day shindigs and volunteer opportunities this weekend:

Celebrate at the picturesque Honeymoon Island State Park's Earth Day event with food, live music, crafts, guided walks in the woods, kids activities, the Sharkbite Challenge Kayak Race, and a DIY rain barrel workshop. You can even bring along your four-legged, furry friends (on a leash)! Saturday, April 17, 10 am-6 pm; Sunday, April 18, 10 am-5 pm. 1 Causeway Blvd., Dunedin. $8 per vehicle admission. www.celebratewithfriends.com

Sweetwater Organic Community Farm will be holding its second annual Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, featuring speakers on organic and local gardening, a Community Garden Expo to raise awareness about local community gardening groups, as well as fun for the kids with activities all day long. Healthy food and drink will be available or feel free to bring your own picnic lunch. Saturday, April 17; 11 am-5 pm. 6942 West Comanche Avenue, Tampa. Suggested donation for workshops- $10-20 based on ability. See www.sweetwater-organic.org for full festival schedule.

End the weekend's green festivities with the Tampa Bay Sierra Club's 'Earth Day Tampa' Bay at Lowry Park. This one packs in more than 70 eco-friendly exhibitors, children's activities, food, bicycle repair seminars, free pet portraits, and numerous exhibits to inspire you to go green. It will also be host to a lineup of varied musical acts including the Urban Gypsies and Lil Peppi (because who can resist a pint-sized eco-rapper?). Sunday, April 18; 11 am. Lowry Park (Bandshell Area)- 7350 N Blvd, Tampa. Free admission and parking. www.florida.sierraclub.org/tampabay

Give a helping hand at these volunteer cleanup events:

Keep Hillsborough County Beautiful's Great American Cleanup- Check out www.khcbonline.org for cleanup locations. Saturday, April 17; 8:30 am-12 pm. Various locations in Tampa.

SPC Clearwater Beach Cleanup- The St. Petersburg College environmental clubs adopted a mile of beach (Lot 36) on North Shore Clearwater Beach, running from Rockaway St. to 880 Mandalay. The public is invited to help with this event. For more information, please contact [email protected] or call 727 341-3283. Saturday, April 17; 9 am. Meet on the beach at Rockaway Street, right in front of Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill.

Ocean Conservancy Cleanup- Help the Ocean Conservancy restore the shoreline habitat of the Green Bridge Fishing Pier in Palmetto. Everyone is welcome. Please bring a water bottle and they'll provide water, coffee, and bagels. RSVP to Jamie McWade: 727-369-6633; [email protected] Saturday, April 17; 9am-12:30 pm. Green Bridge Fishing Pier, Palmetto.

Suncoast Surfrider's Earth Day Beach Cleanup- Join the Suncoast Surfrider Foundation for their Earth Day Cleanup. There will be prizes for the most unique/most collected trash from the day. For more information go to www.SuncoastSurfrider.org and please help keep our beaches clean! Saturday, April 17; 10 am. 4th St. South and Gulf St. South, Bradenton.

Don't forget to check out the Green Community Calendar for more workshops and events!

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