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Celebrate Earth Day at the Library

Mar 27, 2024
Earth Day 2024 activities and events at Madison Public Library throughout April

Earth Day is coming up on Monday, April 22, and there are several ways to celebrate the wonders of nature at Madison Public Library! We've got events, activities and even a volunteer opportunity planned during the month of April. Earth Day was started in 1970 and has since evolved into the largest civic event on Earth, activating billions across 192 countries to safeguard our planet and fight for a brighter future. Learn more about Earth Day...


It's the perfect time to start thinking about gardening! Give back to the Earth during the month of April with one of the gardening programs listed below. Don't forget to pick up seeds from Madison Public Library's Seed Library to use before or after your program!

Seed Starting

April 1, 6:30-7:30pm | Lakeview Library

Starting garden plants from seed can be a rewarding activity. In this talk you will hear from a Dane County Extension Horticulture Volunteer who will give you a solid foundation for growing your own garden plants from seeds. Included are tips on factors that make for successful seed starting. You will learn how to purchase seeds, and plant and care for them until they are ready to be planted outdoors. You will leave feeling confident in your abilities to start seeds right in your own home. Registration is required + opens 2 weeks prior to the program. 

This program is supported by the Friends of Lakeview Library. 

Restoring Native Plant Habitats at Home

April 4, 6:30-7:30pm | Sequoya Library

Always wondered about incorporating native plants into your landscaping but looking for a place to start? Sarah Savage, owner of Tend Native Plants, will share some of the best native plants for small yards, how they support the local ecosystem, and tips for plant shopping. No registration required. 

This event is sponsored by the Midvale Heights Green Team and Sequoya Library.

Square Foot Gardening

April 12, 2-3pm | Sequoya Library

Square-foot gardening has been around since the 1970’s. This is a simple system based on 4-foot by 4-foot raised beds divided into simple one- foot square grids. Mary Collet, Certified Master Gardener Volunteer from Dane County Extension, will give you ideas for creating your own square-foot gardening beds, a recipe for square-foot garden soil, selecting and growing your plants, and successfully harvesting your crops. You will also hear techniques for raised bed gardening and types of raised bed gardens, like the pizza garden, that is popular with kids.

Vegetable Gardening 101: Dream Big -- Start Small

April 16, 6:30-7:30pm | Lakeview Library

Have you tried vegetable gardening but had a disappointing outcome? Don’t give up! In this talk you will be introduced to the basics of successful vegetable gardening. A Dane County Extension Horticulture Volunteer will talk about maintaining your soil, planting seeds, mulching and much more. Registration is required + opens 2 weeks prior to the program. 

This program is supported by the Friends of Lakeview Library. 

*VOLUNTEER EVENT* Earth Day Challenge 

April 20, 10am - 12pm | Madison Parks

Celebrate Earth Day with your neighbors and friends by volunteering to clean up your local park! Join this community-wide volunteer effort to help make a difference. Accept the Earth Day Challenge with Madison Parks! We are seeking 900 volunteers at 60+ parks, located throughout the city to assist with trash pickup, raking, weeding, and removing sticks. We supply gloves, garbage bags and rakes. Rakes at each park will be based on the number of volunteers participating. REGISTER

What's the Deal with "No Mow May"?

April 23, 2-3pm | Pinney Library

The goal of "No Mow May" is to pause mowing lawns during May to allow flowering plants to help provide food for pollinators. Early spring is a time where floral resources are often limited for pollinators, especially in urban and suburban landscapes. Learn more about the reasons behind "No Mow May," how to participate, and how to make your yard more pollinator-friendly. No registration required. 


There are so many different ways to enjoy nature, and not all of them involve being outdoors! Work with exhibiting artist Katherine Moore at Sequoya Library to paint a watercolor bird and take in Nature's Delights or hear from neighbors and featured storytellers about the effects of climate change during a story slam this month. 

Climate Change Story Slam

April 20, 7-9pm | Central Library

One night only - storytellers from around Wisconsin will gather to share stories about how climate change has affected their lives, how they have coped, and what they’re doing about it. Stories may range from one-time encounters with the effects of climate change, to careers dedicated to fighting for a safe and sustainable environmental future. Come celebrate Earth Day by joining the conversation and holding space for the kind of stories that inspire people to act. Hosted in partnership with Mad City Story Slam and the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters. REGISTER

Introduction to Watercolor with Artist Katherine Moore

April 26, 6-8pm | Sequoya Library

Have you been interested in trying watercolors, but haven't known how to get started? Then this is the class for you! We will be starting with the very basics of watercolor painting as we celebrate nature's delights by painting a watercolor bird. Group instruction about materials and techniques will be provided by current Sequoya Library artist Katherine Moore. All materials provided. Recommended for ages 15+. Registration opens April 12 at 9am. REGISTER

*ART EXHIBITION* Nature's Delights: Madison's Urban Ecology

Revel in Nature's Delights by exploring a new art exhibit at Sequoya Library created by local artist Katherine Moore! She never ceases to be amazed by the richness of urban ecology and strives to capture and share the beautiful moments happening right outside our front doors. Her watercolor paintings draw you in with a series of playful, moody and awe-inspiring moments seemingly frozen in time. Plus, many of the paintings also have an accompanying poem that elaborate on or illuminate the scene. This exhibit will be up through May and is available to view during open library hours.


Whether you check out some items from our Library of Things and explore outdoors on your own, pick up a pair of free eclipse glasses leading up to the solar eclipse on April 8 or go for an Earth Day Nature Walk, what could be better than getting outside in Spring?

Free Eclipse Glasses

April 3 | All library locations

One of Earth's coolest natural phenomena, the April 8 solar eclipse is right around the corner! Starting April 3, Madison Public Libraries will be handing out FREE eclipse glasses while supplies last. 

Intergenerational Earth Day Nature Walk 

April 22, 4-6 pm | Sequoya Library

Join current Sequoya library artist, Katherine Moore, on an intergenerational nature walk in celebration of our Earth.  We will walk to Westmorland Park, pausing along the way to observe the signs of Spring, ask questions and read poetry. We will then spend some time exploring the park and journaling. All materials will be provided. Be prepared for about 1-1.5 miles of walking. All ages welcome. 

Limited to 15 "grown ups" and the children in their lives to keep the group together. Limited to 15 "grown ups" and the children in their lives.  Registration opens April 8 at 9am. REGISTER

Birding Backpacks

Check out a backpack containing everything you need to try birding for the first time! Birding Backpacks include 1 pair of binoculars for adults, 1 pair of binoculars for kids, 1 Sibley's field guide for adults, 1 youth field guide from Madison Audubon and 1 location guide to help you explore potential birding spots near each library. Two Birding Backpacks are available at each library location, and each backpack can be checked out for one week. This is a walk-in collection meaning no holds are available and backpacks are distributed on a first-come, first serve basis. LEARN MORE

Disc Golf Kits

Use your library card to try out Disc Golf at one of the local courses in Madison. Thanks to a partnership between Madison Parks and Madison Public Library, members of the public can check out disc golf kits from every library location. Each kit consists of a Play Madison Parks bag, four discs – a driver, a fairway driver, a mid-range, and a putter, plus local course maps, rules and etiquette, and information about the lending program. When checking out, users will keep their receipt and use it as their permit to play the disc golf courses for free. Kits can be checked out for one week at a time. LEARN MORE