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Five ways to enjoy Earth Day in Toronto

Get in touch with nature: Plant a tree, clean up and have fun.

Thousands of Torontonians will be spring-cleaning parks, shorelines and ravines across town this weekend to mark Earth Day.

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Thousands of Torontonians will be spring-cleaning parks, shorelines and ravines across town this weekend to mark Earth Day.

These days it seems the planet’s peril is on full display: a Yukon river disappeared in days, the Great Barrier Reef is turning to fossil before our eyes and by 2020 the world could lose half of its wildlife — in just a 50-year span. The cold hard facts may leave you feeling overwhelmed. But getting your hands into some cold, hard dirt this weekend could start to ease the psychological burden, and the physical one on our planet. To mark Earth Day on Saturday, here are five ways you can pitch in and help yourself, and the world, feel better this weekend and into the future.

1. ParkPLAY: Trinity Bellwoods Park (near Crawford St. and Lobb Ave.); Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Earth Day Canada’s “adventure playground” gives kids pylons, logs and other tools to build their own fun. The thinking goes that the more time kids spend getting their hands dirty and sitting in the grass, the more likely they grow into adults who want to protect nature.  

2. Party for the Planet: Toronto Zoo; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Among pandas and penguins learn how you can reduce waste and energy consumption and buy smart. There will be a series of kid-friendly activities, information session, and a rain barrel sale.  

3. Earth Day in the Children’s Garden; Evergreen Brick Works; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Kids (and adults) can learn how to make mud and straw buildings, design a green-friendly city and create seed balls and plant cuttings to grow habitat at home.  

4. Plant a tree; Downsview Park; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This annual tree planting event comes with special significance this year: the park is one of over 200 sites along the Highway of Heroes selected to host a living tribute to Canada’s fallen soldiers, with 117,000 new trees planted.   

5. Shoreline clean up; Portlands; Sunday, 10 a.m.

Toronto Urban Fishing Ambassadors are hosting a cleanup as part of the World Wildlife Foundation’s Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup program. The cleanups run throughout the year. Check listings for more in your area or host your own.  

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