April is the month when Earth Day is celebrated. This yearly event is a day when millions of people around the world celebrate their support of environmental protection and a healthy planet. This year’s theme is “Invest in our planet”, so this month, we’ll be focusing on how you can do just that.
In January, we encouraged you to include an environmental based resolution on your list of changes to make in the new year. If you haven’t done that, or haven’t had much luck with that resolution, Earth Day is a good time to reassess or renew your pledge. If you’re doing well with your resolution, maybe this is an opportunity to go even further by finding another opportunity to do better. This might include eating more locally produced food since Farmers Market season is just about to start. Or it might mean purchasing more used items and fewer brand new items.
One way to both get used items and pass on items you no longer want, is to join a Buy Nothing group. Many of these groups have popped up on Facebook in recent years and are platforms for people to give away unwanted/unneeded items to others who can make use of them. This is a great way to extend the life of items by making sure they continue to be used, rather than ending up in the landfill. Right here in Talbot County, we have Talbot County Freebie Swap, as well as Buy Nothing Tilghman/St. Michaels, and Buy Nothing Easton. Many people use these platforms to give away items as part of their spring cleaning, attic cleanouts, and even children growing up and outgrowing toys and clothing. These groups work to build community and reduce waste, as well as sometimes support folks in need, such as families that have lost items in a fire. If you aren’t already a member of a similar group, we encourage you to check them out!
Second, April here in Maryland can be a gorgeous time of year. It’s possible to have warm days without the oppressive heat and humidity we experience during summer months. This means April is a great month to get outside and remember why a healthy planet is so important. Spending time in nature can help us connect and appreciate the environment; helping people connect to the Chesapeake Bay is our mission at Phillips Wharf but a healthy Bay requires healthy land ecosystems too. Spending time in nature can help us all understand how everything is connected.
There are numerous Earth Day events available, depending on where you live. Adkins Arboretum is hosting their first ever Earth Day event. Admission is $5 in advance and $10 the day of for all guests over the age of 4. Their event will have lots of Earth friendly craft activities, live music, and native plants for sale.
Here at the Phillips Wharf Environmental Center, we’ll be hosting our first Open House from 1 to 4 pm. This event will be free and you’ll be able to tour our new center and we’ll have a few Earth Day crafts as well, including reusable bag painting in honor of Easton’s new plastic bag ban. This will also be a great opportunity to check out Easton Point Park, explore the pier, and walk the Rails to Trails path.
The Salisbury Zoo will also be hosting their annual Earth Day event, which kicks off with a 5K run at 9 am, with the main event going from 10 am to 4 pm. This event showcases environmental organizations from all over the Eastern Shore and is a great opportunity to explore the Shore’s fabulous free zoo.
The Friends of Assateague Island will be hosting their annual Pollinator Festival from 10 am to 2 pm. You’ll be able to assist with planting native plants in the pollinator garden at the state park, take tours of the living shoreline, and enjoy games and crafts at this free event.
Across the bridge, there are lots of options depending on what you’re interested in.
Masonville Cove in Brooklyn, MD will be hosting a trash clean up from 1 to 3:30 pm in partnership with the Baltimore Aquarium. This is a great opportunity to do some citizen science on what kind of trash is common in the area and to do some good by cleaning up trash.
Also in Baltimore, Mr. Trash Wheel is celebrating his 9th birthday. This event does cost $20 for adults and $10 for kids and includes a gift, dessert, access to crafts, and a python experience, along with live entertainment. Mr. Trash Wheel has been working hard to keep trash out of the Baltimore Harbor and the Chesapeake Bay so this event will be a fun way to celebrate and support this endeavor!
In Annapolis, The Friends of Quiet Cove Park will be hosting an Earth Day celebration to help raise funds for the Park’s Nature Center. This event will include a yard sale, trash clean up, food trucks, nature hikes, and demonstrations so this will be a great way to get outside and have some fun.
In Hagerstown, there will be a community trash clean up, tree planting, and storm drain stenciling from 10 am to 1 pm.
So, this Earth Day, we encourage you to get outside and enjoy nature. This is a holiday that encourages you not to buy more new stuff, but rather to appreciate a world with less stuff, to reduce, reuse, and recycle, and to help build a stronger community.