The first official Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970, and was a day of nonviolent demonstration for a cleaner, healthier planet. Many consider that Earth Day to be the beginning of the modern environmental movement.
More than 50 years after the first Earth Day, it is still a time of environmental action — both locally and globally. Here are a handful of Earth Day events and activities happening in the D.C. area this weekend.
April 23: E-CARE Cleanup Time (9 a.m.-noon)
Yorktown High School in Arlington, Virginia, invites you to finish your spring cleaning by dropping off leftover hazardous materials like paints, pesticides and solvents, plus old electronics, metal, batteries, and more.
Also accepted: items containing Mercury, printer cartridges, and lighting fixtures. Unused bicycles are collected by Bikes for the World for use as cheap, dependable transportation overseas.
April 23: EcoAction Arlington’s cleanup of Bon Air Park and Four Mile Run (9 a.m.-noon)
The annual event takes place on April 23 this year, which also coincides with National Picnic Day. EcoAction Arlington will have extra gloves on hand, all the trash and recycle bags needed, a First Aid Kit, extra masks and hand sanitizer.
For more information and to register, visit the EcoAction Arlington website.
April 23: Tree planting and Earth Day proclamation at City Hall (8 a.m.-9 a.m.)
This year is also the 150th anniversary of the first Arbor Day. Members of the Alexandria City Council will plant a tree at 411 King Street near City Hall and read their 2022 Earth Day proclamation at 8:30 a.m., just before their scheduled public meeting.
At any of the area’s four major farmers markets, you can find Alexandria staff sharing everything you could want to know about how to begin composting in the area as well as free composting buckets while supplies last.
Fairfax County, Virginia
April 23: Family Fun Earth Day Celebration at Green Spring Gardens (10-11 a.m.)
According to the website, you can “Celebrate Earth and say thanks with face painting, poetry, pictures and puppets! Make a special Earth Day craft and help us decorate a tree. All attendees, including parents, must be registered for the program.”
Green Spring Gardens
4603 Green Spring Rd.
Alexandria, VA 22312
Cost: $10 | Register online at the Fairfax website.
April 23: Earth Day at Hidden Pond (2-4 p.m.)
Join others at Hidden Pond to learn about some of the ecological concerns in Fairfax County and what you can do about them. Make a craft using recycled materials, and help with a project to keep our park maintained.
Hidden Pond Nature Center
8511 Greeley Blvd.
Springfield, VA 22152
Cost: $9 | Register online at the Fairfax website.
April 23: GreenFest 2022 at Brookside Gardens (11 a.m.-5- p.m.)
Brookside Gardens will be hosting Montgomery County’s GreenFest on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. This event is one of the county’s largest Earth Day festivals. Some activities include:
- Face painting and children’s activities
- Interactive musical petting zoo and games
- Kids’ tree climbing
- Plant and tree giveaways
- Green Arts & Crafts Fair
- Over 60 exhibitors featuring environmental nonprofits
- Children’s yoga
- Electric vehicle and car show: World’s first electric truck (Rivian) will be on display!
- Food trucks (vegan options available)
April 23: Earth Day Demonstration Against Deforestation at Freedom Plaza (11 a.m.-1 p.m.)
Join nonprofit Day 6 and the Green Realtor, Sidney Aquino in a rally to raise awareness against unnecessary killing of trees in your local communities and a global end to deforestation.
1301 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C., 20001
April 23: Potomac River Cleanup at Theodore Roosevelt Island (9 a.m.-12 p.m.)
Join Potomac Conservancy for Earth Day Service at Theodore Roosevelt Island on April 23, a day of cleanup and preventing litter from entering the Potomac so the national river can remain beautiful.