It’s time for spring cleaning (and planting)

Environmental events taking place in Peterborough during April and May

Help Peterborough's Urban Forest by planting trees on May 3rd from 10 to 12 at the storm water pond in front of Peterborough Regional Health Centre (photo: GreenUP)
Help Peterborough's Urban Forest by planting trees on May 3rd from 10 to 12 at the storm water pond in front of Peterborough Regional Health Centre (photo: GreenUP)

On Tuesday (April 22), we marked Earth Day, a day set aside to recognize and celebrate the planet we call home.

Traditionally, environment-themed events were focused on Earth Day alone. But as awareness of our fragile environment grew over the years, so did the importance of taking action to protect it — thus Earth Day blossomed into Earth Month.

Here in the Peterborough area, Earth Month is celebrated extensively with events and clean ups that are aimed to improve the health of our local environment and to raise awareness of issues outside our immediate area.

Here’s just a sampling of some of the many events that you can participate in throughout April and into May.

Jackson Creek Clean-Up on Saturday, April 26th

Join Otonabee Conservation, GreenUp, and the Otonabee Conservation Foundation for the 16th annual Jackson Creek Clean-Up on Saturday, April 26th. from 10 a.m. to noon.

Meet at the main entrance to Jackson Park (at Monaghan and Parkhill roads). Gloves and bags will be provided, but you’re welcome to bring your own.

Volunteers will pick up litter throughout Jackson Park and along the Creek, following the trail towards downtown. The event runs rain or shine.

Volunteers are also welcome to start their clean up at the Brock/Bethune entrance to the Trans-Canada Trail, or at the Fairbairn Street entrance to Jackson Park.

Community Tree Planting on Saturday, May 3rd

The community that plants together, grows together. Join Trees Ontario, GreenUp, Otonabee Conservation, and the Peterborough Regional Health Centre on Saturday, May 3rd for the Trees Ontario annual Community Planting Weekend.

Families, friends, and community members are encouraged to take part in this half-day tree planting activity, promoting community engagement and environmental action. The event engages communities in local reforestation projects and builds awareness around the importance of trees, shade, and green urban spaces.

This family-friendly event will take place rain or shine, around the storm water pond in front of PRHC near Alexander Court and Medical Dr. To participate, bring a shovel, gardening gloves, and lots of energy. Everything else — including the trees, forestry specialists, mulch, and snacks — will be provided.

Participants are encouraged to wear appropriate clothing, sturdy shoes (steel toe if possible), and bring a hat and/or sunscreen.

Parking will be available in the south end parking lot at PRHC. This event is open to the public and walk-ins are welcome. However, space is limited and pre-registration is appreciated. Register at or by calling 1-877-646-1193.

Leaf UNtuck on Saturday, May 10th

If you’re looking for a family-friendly way to give back to the community, attend the annual Leaf UNtuck at GreenUp Ecology Park on Saturday, May 10th, from 1 to 4 p.m.

Volunteers will be helping welcome spring at the park by removing the leaves used to protect park nursery stock and trees from the harsh winter weather. If you have them, bring gloves, a wheelbarrow, or rake.

GreenUP Ecology Park is located at 1899 Ashburnham Dr., next to Peterborough Utilities.

Edible Landscapes workshop on Sunday, May 18th

On Sunday, May 18th, join us on opening day at GreenUp Ecology Park, for a workshop from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on the topic of selecting and planting edible landscapes.

The workshop will go over the basics, including size of species and space, hardiness, pollination requirements, maintenance, soil characteristics, and sources of healthy nursery stock. Participants will also learn how to plant a tree properly and what is required for the first few years of growth. You can also purchase edible plants and trees at the plant sale, which is running at the same time.

The workshop cost is $10 per person and you need to pre-register by contacting Marcy at

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Matt Higgs
Matt Higgs was GreenUP's Communications and Marketing Specialist and authored a weekly column focused on all things environmental that was published in the Peterborough Examiner and on A native of New Brunswick, Matt has called the Kawarthas and Northumberland home since 2008. Follow GreenUP on Twitter or connect with them on Facebook.