Green Up Day Contest - A Fairbanks Spring Tradition!

After seven long months of winter, the arrival of spring is celebrated with joy in Fairbanks, Alaska.  The Tanana Valley Watershed Association and ThrivAlaska are proud to introduce a new tradition to celebrate the arrival of spring: the Green Up Day Guessing Contest.  People ages 18 and up are invited to participate by submitting a guess of what day the leaves will bloom on our lovely deciduous trees.

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How it works:

The exact day of "Green Up" is determined as the date when leaf buds on birch and aspen trees open enough to produce a faint, yet distinct green flush through the boreal forest canopy.  Green Up is the rapid transformation in Interior Alaska from brown to green as the leaves of the deciduous trees burst forth.  It happens suddenly enough to allow assignment of a single date given to this culmination of a key biological process.

The tradition began in 1974 when scientists at the West Ridge of the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus looked out on the western flank of Chena Ridge. “Green Up Day” is determined by the National Weather Service. 

How to Play:

1000 tickets are sold at $5 each from April 1 - April 22.  All correct entries will be put into a hat and the winner/s will be drawn at random in mid-May after the official green up is declared by the National Weather Service up at UAF. 

Check this website for the most updated information on where to get your tickets!

Confirmed Ticket Venues for 2017:

  •  ThrivAlaska @ 1949 Gillam Way Suite F
  • Big I Pub & Lounge @ 122 N Turner Street
  • The Venue @ 514 2nd Avenue
  • River City Cafe @ 523 2nd Avenue
  • S Salon @ 901 Cushman St
  • Fairbanks Children's Museum @ 302 Cushman St #101
  • Downtown Association (DTA) @ 542 4th Ave #204
  • Northern Business Systems @ 3526International Street
  • Gulliver's Books @ 3525 College Road
  • Grassroots Guitar @ 1019 College Road
  • Seekins Ford Lincoln @ 1625 Seekins Ford Dr
  • Northern Alaska Environmental Center (NAEC) @ 830 College Rd
  • PDC Inc. Engineers @ 1028 Aurora Dr.
  • Ivory Jacks @ 2581 Goldstream Rd


Tanana Valley Watershed Association @ 516 2nd Avenue, Suite 412  (4th Floor of the Lathrop Building)


The above businesses have generously donated their time and effort in helping us with this FUNdraiser - please take a few minutes to visit them!



  • Guesses must include an accurate date, name, mailing address and phone number where you can be reached.
  • People from all over the world may participate, but tickets must be purchased in the State of Alaska, due to regulations for charitable giving.
  • Deadline for entries is April 22.
  • You must be 18 years or older to purchase tickets.
  • Staff and Families of TVWA and Thrivalaska are not eligible to play.


All proceeds of this raffle, after any administrative costs will be split between TVWA and ThrivAlaska.  All proceeds allocated to TVWA will be dedicated towards the development of Watershed Discovery Zones, TVWA's outdoor playground models that help kids connect to nature. The goal is to raise $5,000 by selling 1000 raffle tickets.  


Greenup is important from more than just an aesthetic or biological perspective. For example, once greenup has occurred, there is a rapid increase of evapotranspiration, which in turn has important consequences in the area's mesoscale meteorology.  It has been observed that greenup starts on lower elevations of south facing hillsides. It spreads quickly down to the valley floor but more slowly up the hillsides. Hillside greenup is strongly dependent on terrain aspect.  For more information, see this report.

2017 official Green Up Day was:  Monday, May 8th, 2017.

Congratulations to our 2017 winners:
John Perrault for 1st prize - 2 Alaska Airline tickets
Stu Pechek for 2nd Prize - 2 Ravn Alaska Vouchers

Link to the Green Up Day Statement at National Weather Service is:

2016 official Green Up Day was:  Tuesday, April 26, 2016.

Our 2016 winner is Mary Burtness! Congratulations Mary!

Link to the Green Up Day Statement at National Weather Service is:

Special Note: This years green up day was the earliest since the national weather service at UAF started this in 1974.

2015 official Green Up Day was: Sunday, May 3rd, 2015.

Our 2015winner is John O'Brien! Congratulations John!

Link to the official Green Up Day Statement by the National Weather Service is: