April 22, 2020 marks 50 years of Earth Day. During the month of April, the Washington, D.C. area hosts a variety of Earth Day activities, including opportunities to help clean up regional parks or attend a family sessions where you can learn how to make a difference.
Earth Day, the modern environmental movement, has been celebrated each April 22 since 1970. Founder Gaylord Nelson began the movement as a Senator from Wisconsin after witnessing the global damages of the massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California in 1969. Today, millions of Americans participate in the fight for a clean environment.
Here are some of the special events this April:
The National Zoo and United States Botanic Garden
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo will commemorate Earth Day during the “Earth Optimism Day” celebration on Easter Monday (April 13th). Guests can get gardening tips from expert horticulturists, take a tour of the Zoo’s green facilities, attend special demonstrations, or take a ride to the zoo sustainably as part of the Bike to the Zoo event.
If you’re looking for a more plant-themed day, you can check out the United States Botanic Garden on April 22nd. There is a tour to see plants grown in George Washington and Thomas Jefferson’s home vegetable gardens and conservatory tours running all day.
Drop by and learn all the ways that you can make the planet a healthier place and become a more active steward of the plants that support life on earth.
Alexandria Earth Day
Alexandria is celebrating Earth Day on Saturday May 2, 2020 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. There will be Earth Day exhibitors with topics like educational displays, plants and games. There will also be youth art and fashion, tent talks and even a bike rodeo.
Arlington and Montgomery County Events
While many of the the D.C. Metro area neighborhoods are celebrating Earth Day on the 22nd, others are treating the entire season of spring as an opportunity to celebrate the planet by giving back.
Arlington County in Virginia, for instance, will celebrate Earth Day with free events and cleanup programs all month long. On Saturday April 18th, there will be an Earth Day Cleanup event beginning at the Bon Air Park Shelter. There is also an Earth Day Breakfast for $35 to discuss environmental justice with Karen Campblin, environmental justice chair for the Virginia State Conference NAACP.
Meanwhile in Maryland, Montgomery County celebrates Earth Day with volunteer activities hosted by parks, nonprofit and community groups, businesses, schools, and clubs every day of the month. You can sign up for a neighborhood cleanup project or create your own environmental initiative to tackle in your community. There are storybook science times for children to learn about the environment, animal encounters and trail walks perfect for families.
–This article was updated by Kate Oczypok in March 2020.