Things to do this weekend in Johnson County include Earth Day events


Put on a pair of gloves and grab a garbage bag.

Earth Day is Friday, and community members in Iowa City are hosting events to show how everyone can take care of the planet in simple ways.

From local trash pick-up events to a tree tour at the University of Iowa’s Pentacrest Museums, there are plenty of ways to join in the Earth Day festivities.

Here are six things to do this weekend in Johnson County for Earth Day and not Earth Day.

Team up to clean up

The South District Neighborhood Association of Iowa City invites residents and community members beyond the region to help clean up and beautify the neighborhood together.

The sixth annual Team Up to Clean Up will take place on Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon.

Clean-up efforts, including trash pick-up and gardening, will be concentrated at the following locations:

  • Broadway Street Flower Beds
  • Sycamore Greenway Trail
  • Wetherby Park Edible Forest
  • Grant Wood Elementary School Garden
  • Dream City Community Center
  • Broadway Neighborhood Center

Meet at Faith Academy at 1030 Cross Park Ave. to register.

Earth Day at Chauncey Swan Park

This Friday marks the 52nd anniversary of Earth Day.

To celebrate, three environmental clubs from Liberty High School, City High School and West High School held an Earth Day celebration at Chauncey Swan Park on Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Students for Environmental Action at Liberty High and West High and the Environmental and Gardening Club at City High invite the community to enjoy free activities including bird feeder making and free screen printing for those who bring their own shirt .

City High’s Jazz Ensemble, Liberty High’s String Theory Band and many more will perform live music for attendees.

Student groups and local organizations will also be present on Earth Day, including volunteer-focused clubs at City High, the Liberty High Garden Club and more below:

  • Iowa City Public Library
  • From land to family
  • Iowa Flood Center
  • 100 Grannies
  • University of Iowa Environmental Coalition
  • UI Vegan Society
  • UI Gardeners Club
  • East Central Iowa Beekeepers Association

Food will be available for purchase. The event will take place at the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center if it rains.

Chauncey Swan Park is located at 405 E. Washington St.

Guided treetop tours at Pentacrest Museums

The first Tree Tours, a new program from the Pentacrest Museums at the University of Iowa, kicks off Friday on Earth Day.

Tree Tours takes attendees on a guided campus walk about the “ecological diversity, symbolism, history and lore” of trees on campus, according to the UI Pentacrest museum website.

IU was recognized as an arboretum in the spring of 2021 by ArbNet, a global professional network of arboretums, according to the university’s facilities management website.

The university is home to over 8,000 trees and 300 species in total.

Tree tours will take place from noon to 1 p.m. outside Macbride Hall near the main entrance stairs.

The next tree visits will take place on May 20. Macbride Hall is located at 17 N. Clinton St.

Backpocket Brewing Earth Day Event

Backpocket Brewing joins the Earth Day festivities a day later on Saturday.

From noon to 1 p.m., the brewery invites volunteers to walk around Iowa River Landing and pick up trash.

From 1 to 4 p.m., the brewery will host Earth Day children’s activities offered by Bur Oak Land Trust, a nonprofit organization that preserves natural habitats in eastern Iowa.

Live music by pop and reggae musician Justin Goodchild will begin at 2 p.m.

All volunteers who register will receive a group coupon for Backpocket Brewing, Tribute Eatery & Bar, Marquee, 30Hop and Vesta.

Volunteers are encouraged to bring trash pickup supplies, but latex gloves and trash bags will be provided.

If you plan to help clean up, be sure to arrive 15-20 minutes early to register and receive instructions at the brewery.

Backpocket Brewing is located at 903 Quarry Road in Coralville.

Tulip Festival at Wilson’s Orchard & Farm

Tulips bloom along Washington Street, Friday, April 16, 2021, in Iowa City, Iowa.

Wilson’s Orchard & Farm invites people to the farm’s first Tulip Festival on Saturday.

The event marks Wilson’s Orchard reopening of the land’s tulip field.

From 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., guests can go tulip picking, have their photo taken in the tulip field, go on a nature scavenger hunt, enjoy a cider tasting or involve their little ones in manual activities.

Here is the lineup of live music and special events during the festival:

  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Stephanie Catlett & Blake Shaw
  • 2pm-4pm Kalimbaman and the Fabulous Yahoo Drummers
  • 3-6pm Tulip painting with Brush & Barrel
  • 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sneeze Dollars
  • 7-8pm Sunset Yoga in the Tulip Field with Hot House Yoga

Admission to the Tulip Festival is free.

Wilson’s Orchard & Farm is located at 4823 Dingleberry Road NE.


University of Iowa students walk through the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center (CRWC), Thursday, March 24, 2022, in Iowa City, Iowa.

The University of Iowa Campus Recreation and Wellness Center is hosting Hawkathlon on Saturday, a free adaptive challenge course for people with disabilities that anyone can participate in.

Hawkathlon was created by UI student Emily Zimmer.

There will be 10 fitness stations for attendees to run through, although attendees don’t have to do everything. Participants will also run on the track.

Those participating in the Hawkathlon will have the opportunity to complete the course with a buddy for motivation.

“Our goal for the event is to create opportunities for people with disabilities and to support a healthy lifestyle, regardless of personal circumstances,” Hawkathlon’s entry form reads.

All participants will receive a medal for completing the challenge course.

The Hawkathlon starts at 1 p.m.

The UI Campus Recreation and Wellness Center is located at 309 S. Madison St.

Paris Barraza covers entertainment, lifestyle and the arts at Iowa City Press-Citizen. Contact her at [email protected] or (319) 519-9731. Follow her on Twitter @ParisBarraza.


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