As people all around the world come together to celebrate Earth Day on April 22, Western New Yorkers can honor our little piece of Planet Earth by participating in one of many events sponsored by members of the Kick Butts Collaborative, a group of local organizations focused on keeping our earth clean, particularly from the harmful effects of toxic cigarette butts, plastics, and other forms of pollution.

The NFTA has provided a map with accessible Metro bus and rail service overlaid upon the scheduled Earth Day events.

NFTA Bus and Metro Earth Day Map

Erie County Earth Day Challenge

The Erie County Department of Environmental Planning (ECDEP) is sponsoring the second annual WNY Earth Day Challenge, a series of themed activities, actions and events that residents can participate in at various locations around WNY (including at home or school) throughout April. The actions in the Challenge (listed at https://www3.erie.gov/recycling/wnyearthdaychallenge) feature the work of environmental programs and non-profit organizations dedicated to improving the environment in Western New York.

For every activity a participant submits, they are entered into a raffle for prizes including a Fuji mountain bike, a year-long membership to the Buffalo Museum of Science, a private group expedition at Penn Dixie, a Birthday Party at Tifft Nature Preserve, gift cards, and more. Participants are encouraged to share their Earth Month activities online using #WNYEarthDayChallenge and challenge friends, family or students to get involved too.

Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper Spring Sweeps

Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper protects and restores Western New York’s water and surrounding ecosystems for the benefit of current and future generations. This Earth Day, volunteer for the annual Spring Sweep from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 22. You will be joined by volunteers from across the Great Lakes region in removing litter from our shorelines and protecting our waterways.

Register for one of the 40 available sites at: https://bnwaterkeeper.org/cleanups/

The Aquarium of Niagara

The Aquarium of Niagara is celebrating Earth Day on April 22-23 with a Party for the Planet including activities focused on our impact on local and ocean environments. Guests will have the opportunity to create their own reusable bag, receive seeds for native plantings, observe a coral fragmentation demonstration, and touch a sea turtle shell.

Activities are included with admission and will be available 10:00am to 4:00pm. The Aquarium of Niagara is open 9:00am to 5:00pm most of the year. Tickets and more information can be found at www.aquariumofniagara.org.

Niagara River Greenway

This organization’s goal is to create a world-class trail and greenspace network within the Niagara River corridor that communities can be proud of and cherish for generations to come. They are teaming up with community partners on these events:

Grand Island All Island Clean Up (accepting any volunteers) info and sign up link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/clean-up-grand-island-2023-tickets-601823780127

Grand Island Rotary Clean up along the adopted section of the Shoreline Trail on Grand Island, along the South Parkway – 4/29/23 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Meet at Kaegebein Elementary School (1690 Love Road, Grand Island, NY 14072) front parking lot. Sign up on Green Guardians.

Tonawanda Rotary Clean Up 4/22/23. Event info https://fb.me/e/urMKtykJ

Kenmore Rotary Clean Up 4/22/23 Sign up on Green Guardians.

Lockport Rotary Clean Up 4/29/23 Sign Up on Green Guardians.


Citizen Coalition for Wildlife and Environment

The coalition will be tabling with Taste NY for a THINK GREEN expo at the Welcome Center on Grand Island from 11 a.m. – 2p.m. It’s a day of FREE earth friendly activities.

Taste NY will be giving away 100 native New York State trees (first come, first served) starting at noon. They will also feature sustainable local products and small agriculture businesses that use environmentally-friendly processes from our Taste NY store.

Other participants will include students from Niagara University’s NU Cares, NY Power Authority, Erie County 4H, Past & Present Fossil & Rock, New York State Parks Niagara Region Interpretive team. Buffalo Geological Society will also have informative tables and displays. Erie County Master Gardener will be on site to help with questions and perform PH soil testing for $2 per sample.

Other activities include:
• Planting wildflower seeds in compostable cups to take home
• DIY bird feeder craft, great for kids
• Other kids/family crafts & activities brought to you by Erie County 4-H and Niagara University’s NU CARES-Student Club for Animal Rights, Environment, and Sustainability, and other organizations!
• Educational handouts to learn about how our vendors are thinking green
• Free samples of sustainable food products inside Taste NY

Celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day with us at 1999 Alvin Road, Grand Island


GO Buffalo Niagara

For folks organizing Earth Day cleanups, GO Buffalo Niagara will help set up a RideSpot Challenge (FREE) to encourage folks to bike to or from a specific location (the site of the cleanup). Complete the challenge for a chance to win cool prizes.

How it works: Send your organization’s info (name, event date/time/location, organization description, prize offer), and GO Buffalo Niagara will publish the event on RideSpot, as well as share a link for people to join. RideSpot is free and available on Android and iPhone. If you are interested, contact [email protected] 

GO Buffalo Niagara is also participating in the Give Transit a Try program. Throughout April and May, they will offer registrations for $40 off a 30-day NFTA Metro Bus and Rail pass. This is a great way to encourage people to try switching some of their commutes or other car trips to public transit instead. Anyone can register to get a pass for $35 (instead of $75), though passes can’t be purchased until May 1. Learn more or register at https://www.gobuffaloniagara.org/give-transit-a-try 

Western New York Trash Mob

Do you want to start a cleanup for Earth Day with your friends, organization or Block Club? Sign up with Community Canvases’ WNY Trash Mob to get support, promotion, and the chance to win great prizes! Register at https://communitycanvases.org/earthday2023

Then tag your photos from your cleanup on Instgram with @WNYTrashMob. Have questions? Email [email protected] or include your questions when you register.

You can also join the annual Elmwood Village Spring Cleanup on Earth Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Larkinville Plogging Run

Join the team at Flying Bison for a 3- and 5-mile run, or a 2-mile walk (focused on picking up cigarette butt litter and other tobacco waste) around the Buffalo with the Urban Run Group from Flying Bison.

Date and Time: Saturday April 29, 11 a.m.

Location: Flying Bison Brewery and Larkin Square 

Plogging is an activity started in Sweden where runners pick up trash while jogging along a designated route. The name is combination of Swedish term plocka upp, meaning “to pick up”, and English term jogging.


Plogging is a great way to get out and move your body all around while picking up trash and jogging.


No experience required. Garbage bags and gloves will be provided.

Post run activities will be held at Flying Bison and Larkin Square.




The Kick Butts Collaborative is a collective in Western New and the Great Lakes basin including Buffalo-Niagara Waterkeeper, Niagara River Greenway, Citizens Campaign for the Environment,  Erie County Department of Environment and Planning, GO Buffalo Niagara, Community Canvases, WNY Trash Mob, The Aquarium of Niagara, Buffalo-Niagara Medical Campus and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. We catalyze the skills and experience of each partner to empower citizen action for a cleaner, greener, butt-free community both now and for generations to come.