Many Ways and Many Days to Celebrate Earth Day 2016

The 46th annual commemoration of Earth Day is Friday, April 22. Here are a number of activities, events, and volunteer opportunities on and near Earth Day to honor Mother Earth for all she does for us every day.

Pick one or more ways to join the celebration!

EVENTS

Arlington provides opportunities to “Be Earth-Friendly Every Day” with a month-long calendar of fun and beneficial environmental activities and suggestions for sustainable projects and programs, educational and volunteer opportunities, places to enjoy nature, and a bluebell walk on the 22nd. See: http://environment.arlingtonva.us/earthday/ and http://www.carfreediet.com/pages/news-events/event-details/?eventID=2729 for details.

The Audubon Society of Northern Virginia highlights several bird-related events around the holiday. There is the First Annual ASNV Earth Day Big Sit, April 22–23, with the goal of identifying as many bird species as possible within a set area. The event will take place at Whitehall Farms in Clifton as part of its Spring Festival. ASNV is also seeking adult and teen volunteers each day. Volunteers get free admission to the festival. To sign up, click: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0548a4ae28aafd0-bigsit.

A second ASNV event is Birdathon 2016 from April 22–May 15. Birdathon is an annual spring-migration birding competition in which teams secure donations and then pick a 24-hour period between April 22 and May 15 to identify as many bird species as possible. There are prizes for most money raised and most species identified. Click: http://audubonva.org/birdathon for more information.

The Virginia Cooperative Extension 4-H Urban Bird Celebration is Saturday, April 23. All ages, youth, and families are invited to Lubber Run Park in Arlington to learn more about birds. There will be hands-on activities, light refreshments, and more! For details, see: https://arlingtonmasternaturalists.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/4-h-urban-bird-flyer.pdf.

The 2016 Eagle Festival will be April 23 at Mason Neck State Park. The event will feature live wildlife shows, guided hikes, food and drinks available from the Lions Club, live music, pony rides, and other activities. See: http://masonneckstateparkfriends.org/event-2189714 for more information.

This year’s Alexandria Earth Day celebration will be Saturday, April 30, with the theme, “Choose to Reuse—Your Choices Matter.” There will be educational exhibits, demonstrations, and hands-on activities for all ages. It will also feature the “Upcycling Showcase,” in which students will demonstrate their creative interpretation of Earth Day through literature, fashion, visual arts, and performing arts. For more information, see: https://www.alexandriava.gov/EarthDay.

Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment are sponsoringGo Gaga for Green 2016” on April 30.
This family-friendly, community-wide event benefits environmental programs run by George Mason University (Arlington campus) and Arlington and showcases Operation Rain Barrel and the Arlington Green Patriot Awards, recognizing community leaders in sustainability. See: http://www.arlingtonenvironment.org/go-gaga-for-green/ for additional details.

Fairfax County’s official Earth Day and Arbor Day event is April 30 at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton. Among the activities are family-friendly events, educational workshops, vendors, and kids’ activities, including a film festival on restoration projects. There will also be food trucks and a plant sale. More information is at: http://www.springfestfairfax.org/.

PLANT SALES

City of Alexandria Spring 2016 Native Tree and Shrub Sale—accepting orders online through May 7 at: https://rec.alexandriava.gov/webtrac/wbwsc/rt14prd.wsc/wbsearch.html?wbsi=86e19402-4a2d-d9b8-e511-20fb821a33c7&xxmod=PS, or in person at the Jerome “Buddie” Ford Nature Center, 5750 Sanger Ave, Alexandria. All plants are $20. They may be picked up the Ford Nature Center Saturday, May 21 from 10 am to 2 pm. For more information, see RPCA Spring 2016 Native Tree Shrub Sale Flyer or contact Majd Jarrar at: 703-746-5525 or Majd.Jarrar@alexandriaVA.gov.

Falls Church City Native Plant Sale run by Girl Scout Troop 1251. Plant list and form available April 18, and plants are available May 1. E-mail melanite@verizon.net for the form and more information.

Saturday, April 23, 9 am–3 pm, Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, Morven Park, 17195 Southern Planter Lane, Leesburg, www.loudounwildlife.org.

Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District’s Native Tree and Shrub Seedling Sale—accepting online orders now. The seedlings will be available for pick up on Friday, April 29, 9 am–4 pm, or Saturday, April 30, 9 am–12 pm at the Fred M. Packard Center, 4022 Hummer Road, Annandale. For more information, call 703-324-1460; TTY 711. To view and learn more about the seedlings and place an order, visit the NVSWCD website at: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/nvswcd/seedlingsale.htm.

Saturday, April 30, 2016, 9 am–2 pm, Northern Alexandria Native Plant Sale, Church of St. Clement parking lot, 1701 N. Quaker Lane, Alexandria, VA, www.NorthernAlexandriaNativePlantSale.org.

Saturday, April 30, 1–4 pm (rain date: May 1, 1–4 pm), Long Branch Native Plant Sale, Long Branch Nature Center, 625 S. Carlin Springs Road, Arlington. Pre-order information and other details are at: http://www.arlingtonmill.org/announcements/pre-ordernowforthespringnativeplantsale.

Saturday, April 30, 8–11 am, Friends of Riverbend Park annual Spring Native Plant Sale, at the Great Falls Grange Pavilion, 9818 Georgetown Pike in Great Falls. See: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/press/html/psa062-16.htm for details.

Sunday, May 1, 2016, 10 am–2 pm, Earth Sangha Wild Plant Nursery Plant Sale and Open House, Franconia Park, Cloud Drive, Springfield. See http://www.earthsangha.org/wpn/wpn.html for plants and directions.

VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES

Arlington: Invasive Plant Removal Events

Saturday, April 16:

10 am–12 pm, Tuckahoe Park, Contact: Mary McLean, 703-966-2047, marydmclean@verizon.net;

2–4 pm, Madison Manor Park, Contact: Jo Allen, 703-474-2671, jo.allen@comcast.net.

Sunday, April 17:

2–5 pm, Long Branch Nature Center, Contact: Steve Young, 703-966-2966, frazmo@gmail.com.

Saturday, April 23: 

10 am–12 pm, Benjamin Banneker Park, Contact: Eric Sword, 571-338-8508, ericsword@gmail.com.

Saturday, April 23:

10 am–12 pm, Dora Kelley Park (meet at Buddie Ford Nature Center), Contact: Lauren Harper, lauren.harper@alexandriava.gov.

Sunday, April 24: 

10 am–12 pm, Ft. Bennett Park, Contact: Mary McCutcheon, 703-217-8850, mmccutch@gmu.edu.

Alexandria: Park Trash Clean-up Event

Saturday, April 16 (rain date: April 17):

9 am–12 pm, Dora Kelley Park (park entrances by tennis courts on Chambliss St, Morgan St, or Holmes Run Pkwy), Contact: Dave Dexter, davedexter91@gmail.com. Wear weather/work-appropriate clothing and shoes; gloves, trash pickers, and trash bags provided.

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