In 1969, a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California prompted then U.S Senator from Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson, to create the first ever Earth Day. He felt encouraging students to take action while raising awareness about pollution could put environmental protection on the national political agenda. Fast forward more than 50 years later, we’re still celebrating this holiday by working together to take measures to protect our Earth.
On Saturday, April 22nd, environmentalists and people alike will gather at events around the world to celebrate Earth Day. Whether you choose to pick up trash in the park or participate in a fundraising run, you’ll be part of a global environmental effort. Here are six excellent events happening right here in New York City that you can take part in this weekend.
National Grid Earth Day Celebration – Brooklyn
The Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts will collaborate with National Grid to celebrate Earth Day on Saturday, April 29th, from 3pm to 5pm. An interactive family-friendly event will happen on the plaza outside Whiteman Theater at Brooklyn College. This is a free event that will include hands-on activities for children and parents, such as the New York City Fire Department’s fire prevention demonstration, an instrument building workshop using recycled materials, a puppeteer, circus demonstrations, children’s yoga, and much, much, more.
Camp BKB – Queens
Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge will be holding a weekend-long festival on Friday, April 21st into Saturday April 22nd. You can expect to take part in a park cleanup, free bike tune-ups, live performances, a pizza party, happy hour, an overnight camping experience, quiet climb, yoga, and even more. You can buy a day pass or an overnight pass and 10% of all ticket sales will benefit The National Park Foundation. Tickets range from $32 – $62.
Car Free NYC – Manhattan
On Saturday, April 22nd, a 1.5 mile stretch from Broadway, between Times Square, and down to Union Square will be closed to vehicular traffic. This is the second annual celebration of Car Free NYC to promote reducing greenhouse gas emissions. There will be various activities going on during the day that you’re going to want to check out from setting up tents with the Appalachian Mountain Club to a fitness class with Paragon Sports to an “adventure finding” station with the team at offMetro. The idea behind this event is to promote New Yorkers to choose alternatives to driving.
Earthjustice Gala – Brooklyn
On Tuesday, April 25th, at 6:30pm, a “Party to Protect the Planet,” will be held. The event will take place at the Saint Vitus. Headliners for this party include, French Horn Rebellion, She Keeps Bees, Future Generations, Dead Stars, and Abraham King. Tickets are $15 and all of the proceeds will go to Earthjustice.org. Earthjustice believes “No one has the right to destroy our clean air, clean water, wildlife, and wildlands solely for profit or personal gain.”
Earth Day 5K Green Tour – Manhattan
On Friday, April 21, from 10am to 1pm, you can take a tour of some of the most eco-friendly buildings in New York City. You’ll travel from each site, learning about what different green groups are doing on the grounds. This year you can check out an urban farm in the financial district, a green vehicle display, and a green building tour. Tickets are $20 and include lunch, a gift bag, and a pass to the New York Auto Show.
March for Science – Manhattan
If you’re looking to support publicly funded science and scientists, head over to The March for Science on Saturday, April 22nd. The march will kick off with a rally on Central Park West 62nd St at 10:30am. From here, you’re are encouraged to march south to 52nd St. and Broadway with signs and banners. You can register here.
So walk, run, bike, and climb your way through Earth Day in New York City. And if you can’t make one of these events, check out our list of environmental non-profits that are always looking for donations to support their work.