Celebrate Earth Day At These Local Events

Earth Day is this Thursday! Celebrating our planet on April 22nd is a tradition more than a half-century old and, in keeping in line with the special day, we’ve rounded up some family-friendly events throughout the week.

First up, however, is one just for the adults. There are some adult-focused sessions included below as well.

Montclair Climate Action is hosting four free virtual events in partnership with PSEG Institute for Sustainability Studies. These events are aimed at Montclair residents and business owners and focus four aspects of sustainability: Transportation (4/19), Living (4/20), Food Systems (4/21), and Business Practices (4/22). Each webinar is from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM, and registration for each is required.

Turtle Back Zoo will be celebrating Earth Day Tuesday through Thursday and hosting Party for the Planet throughout the spring season. Party for the Planet, an AZA initiative, leverages the impact and reach of AZA accredited zoos and aquariums, including TBZ, to share conservation information and resources with millions of visitors around the world. The Party for the Planet webpage has Stewardship Resources and Activities including information about the Party for the Planet Scavenger Hunt for when you visit the zoo, as well activities that can be completed at home. There is also a series of conservation videos from the zoo.

On Tuesday from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM, the Essex County Environmental Center will present Composting for Kids, a virtual class for families or elementary age children. Join an environmental center naturalist to meet some worms and learn about the wonderful world of compost. Learn to reduce our waste and take better care of mother earth! Details for receiving the Zoom link are available online.

On Wednesday, National Geographic will host Earth Day Eve 2021: A Virtual Celebration at 8:30 PM. Hosted by Jessica Nabongo, the Earth Day Eve 2021 celebration will span the globe with visually stunning performances from some of the most beautiful places in the world. Through the combined power of music and storytelling, you’ll leave uplifted, energized, and with a renewed commitment to living more lightly on the planet.

On Thursday from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM, Schiff Natural Lands Trust and Schiff Nature Preserve (339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham) will host Restore the Earth: A Kids Earth Day Celebration. This is a drop-off program for children ages 5-9, where kids can show appreciation for the planet and participate in activities focused on nature and protecting the environment. Constructing shelter for wildlife, going on an invasive species scavenger hunt, and participating in a litter-clean up challenge are just a few of the exciting plans in store! Preregistration is required. Fee is $10/child for members and $15/child for non-members.

Glen Ridge Public Library will host Earth Day Celebration on Thursday from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM, a Zoom event for all ages. In honor of Earth Day, award-winning children’s book author Susan Hood will present her brand-new title THE LAST STRAW: Kids vs. Plastics, which has been endorsed by Dr. Jane Goodall. Susan will reveal the increasingly dire perils of plastic pollution, salute the kids around the world who are tackling the problem head-on, and offer solutions we can all try to protect our health, wildlife, and planet. Registration is required.

On Thursday from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM, the Essex County Environmental Center will present a DIY Recycled Paper-Making Demonstration, a virtual class for families or elementary age children. Join an environmental center naturalist for a demonstration on how you can turn your household paper waste into beautiful paper right in your own kitchen. Learn to reduce our waste and take better care of mother earth! Details for receiving the Zoom link are available online.

The American Museum of Natural History will host EarthFest Online with activities throughout the day on Thursday. At 11:00 AM, enjoy Animal Tales with American Lore Theater, which will be broadcast live on Facebook. At 2:00 PM, the Museum’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation will present The Scientist Is In: Conservation in Action. Then at 3:00 PM, enjoy a free, all-ages Earth Day Dance Party hosted by Party Like Brooklyn. Expect special effects, catchy tunes, and interactive games at this online after-school dance special. There are also several events for adults. View additional information, links, and dance party registration at the website.

The Northeast Earth Coalition (NEEC) will host a series of events through April 24. There will be virtual and in-person events throughout the week, culminating in Montclair Park Appreciation Weekend, which includes park cleanups at 17 parks throughout Montclair. Visit the website for a list of parks and meet times.

The I Heart Crafty Things blog offers this fun Earth Day Windsocks craft for preschoolers and kids of all ages. You’ll use card stock, crepe paper, paint, and a few other items to make these adorable windsocks. It involves a pompom painting technique to create the earth design, but if you don’t have those items, you can certainly improvise with other items or simply coloring freehand.

Upcycling crafts are perfect for Earth Day to reuse materials that would otherwise get thrown away. Check out this Plastic Suncatchers idea from Books and Giggles. Using a plastic berry box or other thin clear plastic, you’ll cut out circles for the kids who can then color each with permanent markers to look like the earth and other nature images. You can punch a whole in each and add some string so they can be hung!

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