the environmental call-to-arms for people around the globe, is quickly approaching.
The day itself lands on Monday, April 22, this year — but there will be a large range of environmentally-focused events across the region throughout the coming weeks that will allow people to give back to the planet that we call home.
The theme for Earth Day 2019 is “Protect Our Species.” According to the organizers of the event, the theme was selected to draw attention to the rapid loss of biodiversity that has been seen across the globe in recent decades. Species across the animal kingdom have gone extinct as a direct result of human activity, be it from deforestation, climate change or poaching. The organizers hope increased awareness of humanity’s impact on other species will inspire us to protect vulnerable ecosystems.
While the Earth Day organization sets the overarching theme for the day, odds are the localized Earth Day celebrations will have a personalized message of their own.
Check out how you can get involved with Earth Day events across our region this year.
Theme: Climate Change — Take action!
Where: Lenny Harris Memorial Fields at Braddock Park,
1005 Mt. Vernon Ave.,
Alexandria, Va., 22301
When: April 22, 2019
Notable event: Ellen Pickering Award Ceremony
Alexandria is going all out for Earth Day this year, with a slew of events over the weekend leading up to the day itself. Events include “Tent Talks” focusing on ways Alexandria residents can get involved in efforts to help combat climate change, a bike rodeo designed to teach children bike skills and safety, and several environmentally-themed competitions. The city will also present one environmentally active resident with the Ellen Pickering Award to recognize their efforts in making Alexandria a greener city.
Courtesy City of Alexandria
Theme: Earth Day — Keep it going!
Where: All over Arlington County
Notable event: Potomac Overlook cleanup
Arlington County has an interesting approach to the concept of Earth Day: Live everyday like it’s Earth Day. And they do mean everyday. All spring there will be environmentally-minded events taking place across the county. On Saturday, April 20, there will be a cleanup of the Potomac Overlook that will aim to remove trash and invasive species from the area. A full calendar of events can be found online.
Courtesy NoVa Parks
Fairfax County, Va.
Theme: Healthy planet-healthy people
Where: 3650 Historic Sully Way,
Chantilly, Va., 20151
When: April 27, 2019
Notable event: Backyard reptile show
Springfest returns to Fairfax County Saturday, April 27. There will be events held on the Merrifield Garden Center Stage throughout the day including an appearances by musician and entertainer Ted Garber and WUSA 9 chief meteorologist Topper Shutt. There will also be a showcase of reptiles native to Fairfax County that will teach people how to safely interact with the animals and more. Admission is free, but parking will cost $10.
Courtesy Fairfax County Government)
Montgomery County, Md.
Where: Montgomery County Parks
When: Across April
Notable event: Geocache trash cleanup
Montgomery County Parks are extending Earth Day across all of April and making it “ Earth Month.” There’s no shortage of events to particpate in, including film screenings, single-day camping for children and a plant sale focused on native species. For Earth Day itself there will be an event called “ Cache In, Trash Out” where participants will search for geocaches hidden around the Black Hill Nature Programs and Visitor Center while picking up trash along the way. Visitors must bring their own geocaching device — a GPS-equipped smartphone will suffice — but trash bags and gloves will be provided.
Courtesy Montgomery County Parks
Prince George’s County, Md.
What: Kayak down the Patuxnet River
Where: 16000 Croom Airport Rd.,
Upper Marlboro, Md., 20772
When: April 20, 2019
Take part in a kayak trip down the Patuxnet River in Prince George’s County as a way of appreciating the region’s natural beauty. Registration is required to participate and a fee of $25 for residents and $33 for non-residents must be paid beforehand.
Anne Arundel County, Md.
What: Quiet Waters Park Earth Day Festival
When: April 27, 2019
Where: 600 Quiet Waters Park Rd.,
Annapolis, Md., 21403
Notable events: Run for Nature Earth Day 5K
The Anne Arundel County department of recreation and parks is hosting the 2019 Quiet Waters Park Earth Day Festival in Annapolis. There will be live music, tree planting and tours given by park rangers. The event begins at 9 a.m. and includes an Earth Day-themed 5K.
Courtesy Anne Arundel County Government
What: GW Earth Day Fair
Theme: Zero Waste
Where: Kogan Plaza, 2121 H Street, Northwest,
Washington, D.C. 20052
Notable Event: Sustainable Cook Off
The District has a number of ways to participate in Earth Day events this year, but one of the largest is hosted by George Washington University. This year’s GW Earth Day Fair will feature a “ sustainable cook off” which challenges participants to make a dish that reduces food waste and environmental impact. Contestants will cook up samples of their dish and then explain how their dish is sustainable. There will also be a clothing swap for those looking to recycle their gently used clothing and possibly get some good pieces back in return.
Courtesy George Washington University
What: Earth Day Garden Tour
Where: National Cathedral
When: April 22, 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
The National Cathedral will offer a free tour of the Bishop’s Garden on the cathedral grounds. Because bees are now considered an at-risk species, the tour will make special note of the work that the cathedral garden does to cultivate a healthy bee population on the grounds.