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Huntsville to celebrate Earth Day with free event at Hays Nature Preserve

Published on April 19, 2022

Free Event Earth Day Festival

Free, family-friendly fun is coming to Hays Nature Preserve at 7153 U.S. 431 South, this weekend in observance of Earth Day.

The City of Huntsville’s Operation Green Team invites the public to come celebrate Mother Earth on Saturday, April 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a day of nature-based entertainment and activities for the whole family.

“Earth Day is one of our favorite days of the year because it gives us an opportunity to help people in Huntsville and surrounding communities reconnect with nature,” said Brian Walker, Director of Landscape Management. “Operation Green Team’s mission is based in educational outreach, and what better way to get people excited about taking care of nature than getting them out in a beautiful setting on a spring day full of family fun?”

In addition to educational activities, interactive exhibits, face painting, free hot dogs and popcorn, and live music by Alan Little, this year’s Earth Day event will feature raptor demonstrations by the Southeastern Raptor Center. Based at Auburn University, the nonprofit center provides medical care and rehabilitation to injured and orphaned wildlife. Saturday’s show will feature three or four of the center’s educational ambassadors, including an eagle.

Attendees will be able to see farm animals, interact with adoptable pets from Huntsville Animal Services, and even fish at Bar Lake with poles and bait provided during the event. Those interested in taking home a bit of the festival will also enjoy free cucumber and tomato plants, while supplies last.

The Earth Day celebration is a great opportunity to learn about joining the Great American Cleanup this spring and summer. Green Team staff will be available Saturday to provide information on opportunities throughout the year, such as Adopt-A-Mile, Adopt-A-Spot, Adopt-A-Stream and other cleanups to help improve natural spaces in our community.

Parking may be limited at Hays Nature Preserve during the Earth Day festivities, but additional parking will be available at the Mark Russell Recreational Center, 429 Taylor Road. Buses will pick citizens up at the Mark Russell Recreation Center and drop them off near the playground at Hays Nature Preserve. Drop off/pick up locations will be staffed and designated with signage.

To commemorate Earth Day 2022, Mayor Tommy Battle and Edwin Paz, a fifth-grade student from Mountain Gap Elementary School and the state Arbor Day poster winner, will plant a tree in Big Spring Park on the north side of the Huntsville Museum of Art at 10 a.m. Friday, April 22. Hays Nature Preserve will also close that day for festival preparation.

Click here for more information or contact Operation Green Team at 256-532-5326.