Earth Day is April 22, 2021. The day is filled with ways to celebrate our big blue planet, but you don’t have to limit the celebration to 24 hours. There are watershed cleanups, upcycle events, virtual talks and community events all month long. Here are some great ways to celebrate Earth Day virtually and in-person.
2021 Global Art and Music Contest
One Health Lessons and The University of Alaska – Fairbanks (UAF) host the Global Art and Music Competition in celebration of Earth Day 2021. Put your artistic skills to the test and enter your creations for a chance to be featured on the social media channels of both One Health Lessons and UAF, with over 8,000 cumulative followers. This year’s topic is Biodiversity. Entries must be submitted by April 16. Multiple age group categories from age 5 to adult. Entries can be performing or visual arts. Enter as an individual or group! Winners will be announced on April 22 (Earth Day). Winning submissions to be featured on @OneHealthLessons and @UAFairbanks Instagram accounts and will be highlighted on OneHealthLessons.com!
National Park Week
Celebrate National Park Week 2021 from April 17 to 25! Parks across the country will host a variety of special programs, events, and digital experiences. There are also special theme days during the week to highlight the different ways everyone can enjoy national parks.
Spring Wildflower Hike
April 17. Join volunteer naturalist Ann Wearmouth on an exploration of the spring ephemeral wildflowers at Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary. Spring is here and these fragile wildflowers are some of the first plants to bloom, they fill the sunny forest floor before the trees get their leaves. Spring wildflowers won’t last long so join this hike to learn all about them. Family-friendly, ages 10 and up. $5 per person. 10 a.m.–noon. Pre-registration required. Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, Lothian.
Earth Day Upcycled Garden Crafts
April 17. Join a horticulturalist for a free tutorial on how to upcycle your bottles and cartons into cute, custom houseplant containers. Individuals and families are welcome to attend. Support our horticulture program with an optional $5 upcycled houseplant kit during registration. 10 a.m.–noon. Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum, St. Leonard.
Naturally Family Time Series: Family Geocaching
April 18. Join the Robinson Nature Center on fun outings that teach your family the basics of a new, outdoor hobby you can use to enjoy time together in nature. The center will provide age-appropriate roles for different family members that help make the experience fun for everyone and send you home with a goody bag of items to help your family get started on your own adventures. Ages 4 years and up welcome, $45 per family (up to 5 people). 2–3:30 p.m. To register, call 410-313-0400. Robinson Nature Center, Columbia.
Sea Level Rise in Maryland lecture by Dr. Hali Kilbourne
April 19. Join Dr. Hali Kilbourne, Research Associate Professor with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science as she discusses her research on understanding the climate of the last 2,000 years to provide context for modern changes and to improve our understanding of climate system processes driving climate variability. The meeting and lecture will be virtually presented via Zoom at 7:30 p.m. Free. Hosted by the Calvert Marine Museum.
Kids Outdoors: Feathered Friends
April 21. Discover the world of birds as we learn about their amazing adaptations. Try your hand at building a successful nest and explore the secrets of an egg’s strength. Children ages 8–12. $5 per person, $10 per family. 1–3 p.m. Registration required: bit.ly/BBHPMspring. Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum, Catonsville.
As part of the celebration, they will be hosting a virtual parade. If your kids love STEM, they can submit a short (10-15 second) video to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 20th, of something fun and STEM related: making statements such as “We love the STEM Festival!”, Holding Posters, Signs or Banners, Wearing STEM related clothes or costumes, etc.
Severna Park Earth Day Festival 2021
April 24. This annual festival that aims to educate and engage the community in a fun and meaningful way for Earth Day has gone virtual. Check the group’s website for interactive activities for children, as well as materials and information for home owners striving to increase their understanding and make improvements in their homes that are eco-friendly. There are fun events and activities listed for every day of April, including home tips, cooking ideas, meteorologist activities, gardening challenges and trivia questions.
Earth Day Celebration Tour the Benson Hammond House
April 24. Hosted by the Ann Arrundell County Historical Society. Step back in time and enjoy the history of the farming community of Anne Arundel County. 11 a.m.–3 pm. Small fee to take the house tour. Benson Hammond House, Linthicum.
Walk for the Woods
April 24. The 16th annual “Walk for the Woods” at Bacon Ridge Natural Area in Crownsville (rain date is April 25). Hikers can explore Bacon Ridge Natural Area’s 1,000+ acres, which are graced with upland streams, lily-filled ponds, nesting birds, and spring wildflowers. The event will require advance online registration and timed entry. Experts in wildlife, native plants, birds, and more will be on-site and available to attendees. Plus, self-guided hike options will be offered, complete with trail maps and educational signage posted along the trails. Hikes range from 1 to 4 miles, vary in degree of difficulty, and are on marked trails.
Upcycled Wine Bottle Workshop at Grapes Wine Bar of Annapolis
April 22. In this workshop learn how to create a beautiful upcycled wine bottle succulent arrangement while sipping wine at Grapes Wine Bar in celebration of Earth Day. $42. 6:30–8 p.m. Pre-registration required. Grapes Wine Bar, Annapolis.
Montgomery County GreenFest – Virtual 2021
April 24. Hosted by Brookside Gardens, GreenFest will showcase of series of free lectures by industry experts, an online non-profit resource exchange and initiatives to reduce your carbon footprint. There will also be interactive children’s games and educational activities that can be enjoyed safely at home.
Earth Day Kayak Tour
April 22. Celebrate Earth Day by spending time out on the Patuxent River! After a brief safety lesson, a naturalist instructor will take you on a guided tour of the Jug Bay portion of the river while discussing the natural history of the area. Ages 12 and up welcome. 2–4 p.m. $25 residents, $33 non-residents. Patuxent River Park, Upper Marlboro.
This year’s GreenScape will take place on Saturday, April 24. GreenScape is a volunteer effort that encourages individuals and organizations to plant and maintain native flower and vegetable gardens in public spaces throughout the City of Annapolis.
The City provides plant materials, mulch, and yard waste bags, and in turn, members of the community volunteer to make a difference in Annapolis. Download the GreenScape 2021 order form at www.annapolis.gov/GreenScape. Complete the form and email it to Marisa Wittlinger at email@example.com by Wednesday, March 3. For more information, please visit www.annapolis.gov/GreenScape.
Clean Up Events!
Clean Up Quiet Waters Park
This DIY Cleanup event takes place April 18–24. Get out and make Quiet Waters Park (And the Earth) a little greener by taking one of three hikes mapped out by the rangers and pick up trash as you go. Take a picture of yourself and the trash you collected and post it on the Friends of Quiet Waters Park Facebook page using #qwpearthday2021. Prizes will be given for Most Trash Collected, Most Interesting Piece of Trash, and Craziest Spot Trash was Found. All kids who complete a hike and collect trash will receive a Junior Ranger Badge.
Contact Ranger Liz at firstname.lastname@example.org for a cleanup kit.
Earth Day Volunteer Day
May 15. Celebrate Earth Day on Banneker’s Farmstead. This year participants will roll up their sleeves to prepare the garden beds, plant trees, and put a dent in the invasive species of plants at the farmstead. Bring your work gloves and garden tools. 1–3 p.m. Free event for all ages. Pre-registration required. Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum, Catonsville.
Project Clean Stream
April 8 and 10. Meet at the Winans Meadow Parking Lot of the Carrie Murray Nature Center for a 2 hour spring stream clean up! Thursday 1:30 and Saturday 1 p.m. Free. All ages welcome. Registration required. Carrie Murray Nature Center, Gwynns Falls.
Earth Day Clean-up
April 22 and 24. Celebrate Earth Day with a two-hour park clean-up at Gwynns Falls. Thursday at 1:30 p.m. Saturday two sessions, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Free. All ages welcome. Pre-registration required. Carrie Murray Nature Center, Gwynns Falls.
Anacostia River Cleanup
April 24. Beginning at 10 a.m. over a dozen sites along the Anacostia River will host a clean-up event. Locations in Washington D.C., Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. Families welcome! All tools and equipment provided, though if you have a favorite pair of gloves feel free to bring them. Facemasks and pre-registration required. Hosted by the Anacostia Watershed Society.
Make a Difference this Earth Day!
April 24. Families can join the Howard County Conservancy for their annual day of service and help to remove invasive plant species and release tadpoles into a stream. Choose the from morning or afternoon outdoor time slots to help keep the Conservancy’s 232-acres thrive! Advance registration is required and space limited. Howard County Conservancy, Woodstock.
Field Work Fridays
Fridays, 9 a.m.–noon. Every Friday rain or shine, volunteers can join staff naturalists to tackle a stewardship project in need of support. Projects include invasive plant removals, trash clean-ups, gardening, citizen science monitoring, and more. No prior training or experience is necessary. Ages 8 and up. Registration required. Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, Lothian.