Portland’s awe-inspiring community of transportation and climate activists celebrate Earth Day every day by promoting eco-friendly ways to get around. But this Friday (April 22nd) is the official Earth Day, and local advocates are taking the opportunity to amp up this work even more.
So far we see five Earth Day-related events on our calendar between this Friday and Sunday (one happens twice). Here’s what you need to know:
Bike Bus for Earth Day – 8:00 am Friday (4/22) *Event Info*
Sam Balto, a Portland Public School teacher who is one of the city’s most outspoken advocates encouraging kids and parents to start walking and biking (or otherwise rolling) to school, is using Earth Day as a chance to get some friendly competition going. Balto is a big promoter of the “walking/biking school bus” as a safe and climate-friendly alternative to the carpool line.
Balto is competing with Hood River and San Francisco Bike Bus leaders to see which city can host the largest group of kids riding bikes to school together on Earth Day. His route will be in the Alameda neighborhood, meeting at 8:00 am at NE 55th Avenue and Klickitat and getting to Alameda School by 8:30, but don’t feel constrained by location: “It doesn’t take much to start a Bike Bus,” Balto tells me. “Find another family to participate, create a route map and share it with your school community.”
Let’s get bike buses going around the city! If you want to be a part of the competition, use the hashtag #BikeBusForEarthDay to get show off your route and photos.
Ride to Vancouver Land Bridge – 9:00 am Friday (4/22) *Event Info*
The Vancouver Land Bridge is a gem that connects the Columbia Riverfront on the north side of the I-5 bridge to the Fort Vancouver Historic Site. It opened in 2008 and if you’ve ridden it lately you’ll know it’s in dire need of upkeep. There’s a dedication ceremony for a major refurbishment project that begins at 10:30 am and Portlander John Russell will lead a group bike ride to the event that meets at Patton Square Park on N Interstate Ave.
Earth Day Policy Ride – 1:00 pm Friday (4/22) *Event Info*
Nonprofit advocacy group Bike Loud PDX will lead an environment-themed policy ride featuring a certified tree expert with the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (BES). The ride will share interesting info about bioswales, street trees, stormwater management, and more. This ride repeats on Sunday, 4/24 at 1:00 pm.
Move for Mother Earth – 10:00 am Sunday (4/24) *Event Info*
Meet at 10:00 am at the junction of Leif Erikson and Wild Cherry trail in Forest Park for a 3.65 mile walk, roll, jog or run. If you make it to the end, you’ll get a Street Trust fanny pack, and the first 25 people to register will get free tickets to this summer’s Big Float in the Willamette River.
This event is a fundraiser for the Street Trust, and tickets are $10. Sign up to volunteer here – volunteers will get a limited-edition TST t-shirt.
Even though spring has been a little dreary so far this year, we’re entering the most fun months to get out in the world and become an active transportation star. Kick the spring and summer off on the right foot by joining one of these Earth Day events.
Taylor has been BikePortland’s staff writer since November 2021. She has also written for Street Roots and Eugene Weekly. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org