Green Notes: Earth Day and Arbor Day 2022, Green Partners grants, share ideas for a zero-waste future

green notes

Earth Day and Arbor Day 2022

Woman with helmet stopped on bike


Earth Day 2022: Take climate action 

Climate change is solvable, we know the solutions, and we’re in this together. Even in Minnesota, we are starting to notice the effects of climate change from warming winter temperatures to more extreme precipitation events.

This Earth Day, we are focusing on how we can take action to address climate change as individuals and as a community.

The most impactful ways to take climate action are:

  • Get around in a sustainable way
  • Switch to renewable energy and conserve energy
  • Avoid wasting food and eat a more plant-based diet
  • Live a low-waste lifestyle and practice thoughtful consumption
  • Be a good steward of our natural resources
  • Talk about climate change and get involved in your community

In 2021, Hennepin County launched the county’s Climate Action Plan to guide our response to climate change. Pursuing the strategies laid out in the plan will enable us to create a better future for ourselves and future generations. The plan includes 5 goals, 29 strategies, and 145 tactics. The strategies focus on cutting greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to our changing climate in ways that reduce vulnerabilities and ensure a more equitable and resilient Hennepin County.

Learn more about the Climate Action Plan at and discover programs and resources available to help you take action at

online screenshot of GIS map showing Earth Day and Arbor Day events

Earth Day and Arbor Day events

Earth Day and Arbor Day are just around the corner in April, with many local events to celebrate our community, trees, and the environment. We have events listed on our website along with a locater map. Get outside and enjoy!

Earth Day and Arbor Day events


Green Partners environmental education grants

Green Partners grantees kneeling by storm drain mural

Funding is available to support organizations in educating and motivating residents to become environmental stewards and take environmentally friendly actions.

Green Partners environmental education grants are available to nonprofit organizations, community groups, youth programs, schools, congregations, early childhood family education programs, and park districts.

Proposals are being accepted until Thursday, April 28. Virtual information meetings will be held Wednesday, April 6 and Tuesday, April 12. Learn more and RSVP to an info meeting.

For more information, contact Patience Caso at or 612-596-6856.

Share your ideas for a zero-waste future

We want to hear from you! Participate in developing Hennepin County’s Zero Waste Plan by telling us about your experiences in recycling, composting and ideas to reduce waste on our new engagement site. Residents who register on the website can engage with other community members, post ideas, and stay informed as the plan progresses.

Zero waste plan goal: 90% of waste diverted from landfills and incinerators

Our vision for zero waste

Hennepin County’s zero-waste vision is a system where all materials are designed to become resources for others to use. Our definition of zero waste is preventing 90% or more of all discarded materials from being landfilled or incinerated.

About the Zero Waste Plan

The Zero Waste Plan will complement the county’s newly adopted Climate Action Plan and provide the foundation for the 2024 Solid Waste Management Master Plan. A draft of the Zero Waste Plan will be presented to the county board in November 2022.

For more information, contact Carolyn Collopy at

Adopt a River logo

Plan a river cleanup with the Adopt-a-River toolkit

Actions speak louder than words. One very visible way to help the environment this spring is to plan or participate in a river cleanup event! Freshwater Society has guidance in their new Adopt-a-River Toolkit. When you pick up litter around a body of water, you are making the water safer for us as well as our wild friends who inhabit Minnesota shorelines. And your efforts extend beyond Minnesota! What is in our water here floats downstream to other states and eventually reaches the ocean. You can take pride in your work knowing that you have done something to protect and improve water quality for all who depend on it. Contact Karyna Kloude at Freshwater with questions.

Aquatic invasive species prevention grants

sailboats with sails that have painted art and messaging about aquatic invasive species

The county recently awarded eight grants totaling $117,562 to prevent and slow the spread of aquatic invasive species. Some of the work these projects will accomplish include:

  • Develop online courses for Hennepin County pet stores and garden centers.
  • Conduct observation and analysis at five Mississippi River water accesses.
  • Examine data collected from self-serve waterless cleaning systems installed at county-maintained water accesses.
  • Survey water access sites on Lake Minnetonka for starry stonewort.
  • Install a self-serve waterless cleaning system (CD3 Outpost) at the City of Deephaven’s Carson Bay public access on Lake Minnetonka.
  • Assess the role of an AIS prevention ambassador at five public accesses.
  • Provide randomized watercraft inspection and boater education throughout the county.
  • Create 15 art sails that highlight aquatic invasive species issues.

For more information, contact Tony Brough at or 612-348-4378.

In the news

Hennepin County’s online Plastic Free Challenge happened this past February and more than 1,100 people participated—more than double the participation of last year’s challenge!

CCX reports: Hennepin County reports successful ‘Plastic Free Challenge’


Metro Children's Water Festival

Metro Children’s Water Festival

Registration is open for in-person Metro Children’s Water Festival.

The Metro Children’s Water Festival will be held both online and in-person on September 28, 2022. The annual event teaches fourth graders around the Twin Cities about all aspects of water.

Registration for the in-person event is open now through April 1, 2022. Register at

Bee on bee balm flower

Register for a Blue Thumb workshop and get ready for spring!

These workshops offer do-it-yourself tactics to make your landscape more resilient to extreme heat, flooding rains, and other challenges of climate change. Better yet, these earth-friendly tactics protect clean water in nearby lakes and streams and provide habitat for pollinators. Create a plan for your yard, get tips on managing stormwater, learn about using native plants, rethink lawns, find out how to attract more bees and butterflies, and more!

Sign for household hazardous waste collection event

2022 household hazardous waste collection events

Hennepin County is holding three community collection events for county residents to safely and properly dispose of unwanted garden and household hazardous wastes in 2022.
Events will take place Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the following dates:

  • May 6 and 7 at Minnetonka Public Works
  • August 12 and 13 at South High School in Minneapolis
  • September 9 and 10 at the Hennepin County Public Works Orono Shop

Before you go, find health and safety guidelines and a list of acceptable materials at

Tangletown Neighborhood Association’s Earth Day event: Explore Solar Virtual Panel

Thursday, April 21

7 p.m. Register at

Have you been solar-curious but not known how to make it work for you? Join the Tangletown Neighborhood Association for their Explore Solar Virtual Panel. Experts include Frank Jossi, climate journalist and correspondent for Midwest Energy News; Kyle Samejima, executive director of Minneapolis Climate Action; and Mark Webber, president of the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society. Get answers during the Q&A session.

Gaia Democratic School Earth Day event

Friday, April 22

2-3:30 p.m.

Gaia Democratic School is engaging students in learning about pollinators and environmental education, and are planning an Earth Day event on Friday, April 22. Contact them for more details at

Off the Blue Couch featuring Rusty & The Crew: gardening and community clean-up event

Saturday, April 23

9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Get on board and recycle today! The Crew provides tools that are needed to get started with recycling and organics recycling. Join them for their Earth Day events on April 23. For more information, go to: and Rusty & The Crew - Home | Facebook.

Green tip: Spring cleaning in your home and in your community

Triumphant woman in coat holding up bags of garbage collected at community clean up event


City cleanup events

City cleanup events are back! Get outside and get involved with your local city cleanups. You’d be surprised how much you and your neighbors can do in a day.
To make it easy, we’ve started a list of events on our website: 

2022 City Clean Up events

Person holding iPhone with the online Green Disposal Guide on screen

Green Disposal Guide

Spring cleaning at home means it’s time to declutter. But what are you going to do with all that stuff? Check out Hennepin County’s Green Disposal Guide. Find information on the best way to recycle, reuse or dispose of items in your home.

Some of the common items that you can get tips for on the Green Disposal Guide:

  • Fluorescent bulbs contain mercury and should be brought to a hardware store that recycles them or a drop-off facility.
  • Latex paint: No longer your color? Recycle unused paint at a PaintCare retail drop-off site near you, or you can bring them to a drop-off facility. Empty cans can go into the garbage.
  • Rethink helium tanks. Check out their take back policy before you buy one to blow up balloons for your kid’s birthday party. Better yet, rent instead of buy.
  • String and holiday lights burn out and should be brought to a drop-off facility. Do NOT put them in your curbside recycling. They’re tanglers that can gum up recycling machinery.
  • Furniture, if it’s gently used, should be donated, sold or given away. Not reusable? Then it’s garbage and not recyclable. Check with your curbside waste hauler for pick up options.

Learn how to get rid of other stuff on the Green Disposal Guide.

All-purpose cleaner recipe card

Green cleaning recipe

Dirt begone the green way. You can protect your health and the health of your family, pets, and the environment by making your own cleaning products with simple, less-toxic ingredients. Making green cleaners can also be an effective way to reduce packaging waste. Many common household products, such as baking soda, lemon juice, vinegar, and liquid dish soap, can make effective and inexpensive cleaners. Get started by using our digital recipe cards to make: all-purpose cleaner, dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, fabric softener, toilet bowl cleaner, and unclog and deodorize drains.

About Green Notes

GreenNotes covers environmental news, programs and events from Hennepin County.

Please take a few moments to read our stories. Share your feedback and ideas for protecting the environment.

Contact us



Follow us

facebooktwitterinstagramyoutubelinked in
Hennepin County