On Earth Day – Tuesday, April 22 – Riverwest will kick off their annual Earth Day Extravaganza.
First event of the season will be the opening and reception for the RAISE YOUR VOICE an art show featuring juried works on political and social justice issues at the Jazz Gallery Center for the Arts, 926 E Center St. from 6 to 9PM.

Guest speaker for the event will be John Nichols, Washington correspondent for The Nation and the associate editor of the Capital Times in Madison. He wrote UPRISING: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street, Madison’s famous Solidarity Singers, who have been singing protest songs every noon hour in the Wisconsin capitol rotunda for three years, are also on the program. Come sing along. The exhibition will run through May 17 , 2014

Friday, April 25 is Arbor Day, a holiday set aside for planting and caring for trees. It’s traditionally celebrated in the United States on the last Friday in April.blueMarbleNasaYou can help plant some oak trees this Arbor Day by joining the project sponsored by River Revitalization Foundation. Meet up at Gateway Park, 2134 N Riverboat Rd at 4PM. Plan to work along the beautiful Milwaukee River until 7PM.

If you finish planting oak trees, you can catch the Earth Day Celebration at Gordon Park Pavilion, Humboldt & Locust, 5-7PM, also on Friday, April 25. Sponsored by Great Waters Group of Sierra Club, the theme of the celebration is “Healthy Food for All: Growing a Sustainable Community.” Venice Williams of Alice’s Garden is the main speaker. Other presenters include Transition Milwaukee, Charlie Koenen, Jan Christensen, Gretchen Mead and more. Enjoy an Eco-puppet parade, gospel youth choir, poets, bees, re-cycled art, free Kids Guide to the Outdoors, organic local food and lots more.

Round out the night with the Earth Poets & Musicians at the Urban Ecology Center, 1500 E Park Place, Friday, April 25, 8PM. Long-time Riverwest favorites, the Earth Poets & Musicians include Jahmes Finlayson, Holly Haebig Wake, Jeff Poniewaz, Suzanne Rosenblatt, and Harvey Taylor. This year they join forces with 15 other local performers in the “Twenty Performers in Two Hours for the Earth” show.
The week wraps up with a big day of clean-ups and gardening on Saturday, April 26.
The Riverwest Earth Day Clean Up starts out at the Riverworks building, 526 E Concordia Ave. Note that this is a change from past years.

You can come to Riverworks for trash bags to clean up their block with the help of students from Marquette Hunger Clean-up. Bags will be available starting at 8:30AM, through 1PM.
There will be projects in the Community Garden in Kilbourn Park, Garden Park, Snails Crossing, the ARTery and Beerline Trail, and several other community gardens in the neighborhood. Come join a team, get a map, and help with Riverwest’s “spring cleaning.”
Contact Jan Christensen at janc@riverworksmke.org for more details.

If you would like to spend the morning along the river, you can join the Milwaukee River – North Avenue East Cleanup on Saturday, April 26 from 9AM to Noon. Meet at the intersection of North Ave. and Cambridge Av. by the Cambridge Commons Residence Hall (1500 E. North Ave.). They provide garbage bags, gloves, and free T-shirts. You provide the hands and energy to pick up trash, litter, and the interesting and sometimes bizarre pieces of garbage that find their way into our beautiful river system.

Enjoy a full week of ecological, earth-related events and enjoy the beautiful Wisconsin spring weather.