ITHACA, N.Y. — It probably does not come as a surprise that Earth Day in Ithaca is packed with events.

Earth Day, which takes place on Saturday this year, marks the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. The idea came from former Wisconsin senator Gaylord Nelson, who came up with the idea to have a national “teach-in on the environment.” On April 22, 1970, 20 million people took to the streets to rally for the environment.

This year, people across the country will be marching for science, and Ithaca is hosting its own version, too. In addition to Ithaca’s March for Science, there will be an event to get people to “believe in love” as well as 5Ks and community hikes.

March for Science

A rally held in conjunction with the March for Science in Washington, D.C., will take place from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday. The event will begin with a rally at Bernie Milton Pavilion on the Ithaca Commons, and will feature science activities and presentations from local groups, students and scientists, as well as discussions about how science impacts people daily.

The group is unofficially suggesting that people check out the Sagan planet walk in reverse, starting at either Conley Park or Thompson Park. A map is available at

Learn more at the Facebook page.

Believe in Love

Inspired by the Love Button Global Movement, the “Believe in Love” event is meant to “empower people to transform the community through loving acts of kindness.” Participants will be volunteering all over the area and then will come together on the Ithaca Commons at 4 p.m. Saturday in a celebration with local bands with Emmanuel Kelly as the headliner. Speakers will address topics like race, the environment, the LGBTQ community, mental health, poverty, addiction, religion and disabilities.

Learn more at their Facebook page.

Ithaca Beer Company Mudder Earth Run

The first-ever 5K Mud Run at Ithaca Beer Company will take place on an intense course through Ithaca Beer’s property. Muddy fields, puddles, ponds, brewery pallet walls and keg carries are some of the challenging obstacles participants will face.

There will be a post-Mudder party on the lawn at Ithaca Beer Company with food and beverages available from their food truck.

The cost is $35 per registrant. Participants must be 18+ years of age to register online. Those younger than 18, may sign up on site, the day of the event with a parent or guardian present. E-mail race organizer Jared Jordan for all event information at

The first heat runs at 9 a.m. The last heat is at 11:15 a.m. Saturday.

Learn more at

Earth Day 5K

The second annual Earth Day 5K will take place at the F.R Newman Arboretum at Cornell Botanic Gardens. After the race, there will be prizes, free food and games.

Check-in begins at 9 a.m. Saturday. The official race start time is 10 a.m.

Organizers encourage people to bring their own water bottles to keep the event waste-free.

The first 100 people to buy tickets will receive a free bamboo pot with Forget-Me-Not seeds.

This year’s 5K will support the Finger Lakes Land Trust, Cayuga Nature Center and Sustainable Tompkins.

Tickets are available here.

Get outside

Explore a new trail this weekend using the freshly launched Ithaca Trails website. Or take the Cayuga Waterfront Trail and stop at the Farmers’ Market for local goods and music by the Big Red Marching Band.

On Sunday, the Cayuga Trails Club is hosting an Earth Day Hike at 1 p.m. Hikers can meet at the Cornell Community Gardens, located east of Freese Road about halfway between Route 366 and Hanshaw Road. The hike will be 4.4 miles of the Cayuga Trail in the Monkey Run Natural Area of Cornell Botanic Gardens. Transportation will be available at the end of the hike to take participants back to the beginning.

Featured image by Kate Ter Haar/Flickr

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.