Earth Day, the modern environmental movement, has been celebrated each April 22 since 1970. The founder, Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, began the movement after witnessing the global damages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Today, millions of Americans participate in the fight for a clean environment.
The Washington, DC metropolitan area has a variety of Earth Day activities that make caring for the planet fun for all ages. You can pitch in and help clean up any of the region’s parks or attend a family event that includes learning ways to improve our environment and make a difference. Events take place throughout the month of April.
2014 Earth Day Events
Earth Month at Union Station
2014 Dates to Be Announced. A month-long celebration will feature interactive, eco-friendly exhibits and activities to raise awareness of environmental issues and encourage sustainability. On April 22, be sure to check out the full day of entertainment, discussion panels, contests, games, giveaways and much more.
Earth Day on the National Mall
2014 Dates to Be Announced. National Sustainable Design Expo. National Mall, Washington DC. College students compete their green innovations for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency P3 Award. Nonprofits and government agencies showcase their efforts for promoting a sustainable planet.
Annual Cleanup Day, April 5, 2014, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. Throughout April, families can help remove trash from one of 276 sites along the Potomac River in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia.
April 5, 2014, cleanup at 8:30 a.m.; rallies noon to 3 p.m. Several locations in the Washington, DC area. Celebrate Earth Day by cleaning up along our local streams and keeping trash out of the Anacostia River.
Earth Day at the National Zoo
2014 Dates to Be Announced, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Free and open to the public. No ticket required.Celebrate Earth Day and meet the Smithsonian National Zoo’s Green Team experts, participate in “green”-themed crafts, and learn simple daily actions that help you enjoy a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. State Farm® will host a special children’s area at the Kids’ Farm where children can make their own plant pots with recycled newspapers, as well as a garden journal.
United States Botanic Garden
2014 Dates to Be Announced, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Conservancy Terrace. Enjoy cooking demonstrations with seasonal produce and meet with representatives of environmental organizations from throughout the region. 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.
Earth Day: A Family Celebration at Tudor Place
2014 Dates to Be Announced, 1–3 p.m. The historic house and garden in Georgetown hosts a family event with activities including games, a scavenger hunt, painting flower pots and planting them with seeds from the historic garden. Eco-friendly refreshments will be served. Admission: Member Child - $5; Non-Member Child - $8; Accompanying Adult - $5.
Alexandria Earth Day
April 26, 2014, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Ben Brenman Park. The event focuses on efficient and eco-friendly transportation options such as walking, bicycling, ridesharing, and riding public transit. Activities include recycling and composting demonstrations, live music, an Arbor Day tree planting, a performance by Blue Sky Puppets, and a launch of the Eco-City Action Plan Phase II.
Green Living Expo and Earth Week Community Fair
April 26, 2014. 12 – 4:30 p.m. George Mason University, Founders Hall, 3351 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA. Visit the Expo to learn about practical ways to green your lifestyle with a focus on energy conservation, sustainable food, solid waste reduction, eco-friendly transportation, green home remodeling, sustainable landscaping, and healthy homes. The event includes exhibits, seminars, competitions, kid-friendly activities, food sales and more. Online pre-registration is strongly encouraged.
Montgomery County Earth Day
Throughout April, parks, nonprofit agencies, community groups, businesses, schools, clubs, religious groups, etc. are hosting volunteer activities for Earth Day. Sign up for a neighborhood cleanup or create your own project. 240-777-2600.
Earth Day Festival at Brookside Gardens
2014 Dates to Be Announced, 12-4 p.m. Wheaton, MD. Celebrate Earth Day by volunteering, walks and tours, earth friendly activities and browsing a green craft fair. Interactive family-friendly activities include making an earth wind kite, going on a tree scavenger hunt, listening to storytime, and bringing home your own tree sapling to plant. The event is free, but some activities have a nominal fee. Help pave the way in the new Children's Garden, opening in late spring.
Have fun arranging colorful rocks and stained glass in mosaic patterns and mixing cement to make two colorful garden stepping stones. Take one home to enhance your garden and contribute one to the colorful path in the new Children's Garden. Volunteers must pre-register at www.ParkPASS.org.
Rockville Earth Month Events
Throughout April. The City of Rockville's Environmental Management Division in the Public Works Department offers a variety of events and activities including workshops, stream cleanups and opportunities to learn how to stay green all year long.
Residents can attend a free RainScapes Rewards information Session on how to "Green Your Backyard." on April 13 from 10 to 11 a.m. and May 5 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Croydon Creek Nature Center, 852 Avery Rd. Topics will include rain barrels, conservation landscaping, tree planting and other environmental tips for your home and community. Volunteer for a stream cleanup at sites throughout Rockville on April 6 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.