Celebrate Philadelphia's rich natural treasures on Earth Day, Sunday, April 22, with plenty of outdoor programming throughout the city, including the gorgeous blooming Morris Arboretum. (Photo courtesy Morris Arboretum)
In 1970, millions of Americans observed our nation’s first and largest demonstration of Earth Day, a movement started by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, after surveying the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara.
Forty two years later, our country continues to honor Nelson’s incredible foresight as a reminder to all U.S. citizens of the constant need to protect and preserve our environment.
Celebrate Earth Day 2012, April 22, with our helpful list of activities, exhibits and festivals for friends and family to enjoy together around Philadelphia while promoting a clean, healthy and sustainable way of life.
• Morris Arboretum: Take a Native Trees Tour (offered Sundays in April, July and October at 1 p.m.) of the arboretum and learn about the many ways native trees can support increased biodiversity when planted in a variety of non-forest settings, too.
• Phillies Red Goes Green: On Saturday, April 21, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Phillies fans are invited to bring their used electronics to Lot S, off Pattison Avenue, at Citizens Bank Park and have them recycled free of charge. The first 200 participants will receive an autographed photo card from Phillies right fielder Hunter Pence. Participants will receive a 10% discount to the Majestic Clubhouse Store that day. Turkey Hill will provide frozen treats and refreshments to all attendees. In addition, WOGL 98.1 will be onsite playing music.
• National Constitution Center: Providing a variety of events that encourage the whole family to protect our planet, the National Constitution Center hosts an Earth Day Celebration, Sunday, April 22 and Monday, April 23. Children can join in on creating eco-friendly crafts using recycled materials and interact in “It Is Easy Being Green”, a game show that teaches the importance of sustainability. In addition, view The Story of Earth Day, the latest episode of Constitution Hall Pass, the National Constitution Center’s free webcast series, available April 19.
• NarbEarth Day: Presented by the Narberth Civic Association, the 23rd annual environmental fair features a free afternoon of earth promoting exhibits for children and adults, Saturday April 21 from noon-4 p.m. Learn tips on growing your own organic garden and enjoy activities that don’t require energy like hula hooping with a professional instructor. Rain date is Sunday, April 22.
• Laurel Hill: Claimed to be the first garden cemetery in the United States, Laurel Hill boasts its 78 acres of greenery during a guided tour, “Nature in the Necropolis: Celebrating Earth Day Amid the Earth-Bound,” Sunday, April 22 at 10:30 a.m. Complimentary coffee, juice and pastries will be provided with your ticket, and be sure to bring along the binoculars to get a closer look at the many bird species, trees and horticultural specimens of the world-renowned arboretum.
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• Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University: Celebrating its bicentennial year, the Academy goes green with an April Earth Day Festival highlighting important discoveries of the institution’s research on the earth with the help of scientists and 80 exhibitors set up outside the museum, Saturday, April 21, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Visitors receive a free mineral to take home as well!
• Navy Yard: Peddle down to the Navy Yard’s Crescent Park for a special Earth Day Bike Tour hosted by the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, Tuesday, April 24, 3:30-5 p.m. The guided bike tour will provide an overview of the Navy Yard’s campus and environmental responsibilities to Philadelphia. Playing a central role in Mayor Nutter’s commitment to green-ify Philadelphia, a strong focus of the Navy Yard and PIDC is building a nationally recognized center of excellence in renewable power and energy, research, education and commercialization.
• Flea Market at Clark Park: The Friends of Clark Park host the Fourth Annual Earth Day Festival, “Earth Uprising: Rebirthing the Planet,” Saturday, April 21, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. A benefit for the Uhuru Movement, the free festival will provide speakers, music, food, vendors, information booths and workshops on gardening, social and environmental justice and building a sustainable community.
• 5K Run & 3K Walk For Clean Air: Starting at the Philadelphia Art Museum and continuing along Martin Luther King Drive, the 31st Annual 5K Run for Clean Air takes place April 21 at 9 a.m. An effort to decrease air pollution, top finishers will receive cash prizes and giveaways while helping to protect the environment.
• Darby Creek Clean-up Day at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge: On April 21 from 8 a.m.–noon, help beautify one of Philadelphia’s most gorgeous natural areas.
• TreePhilly: TreePhilly is a new tree-planting initiative led by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation that helps property owners, businesses and neighborhood residents improve their communities by planting trees.Through TreePhilly’s new free Yard Tree Program, Philadelphia residents can receive a FREE tree for their property! You can request one tree per address; pickup days will occur during the week of April 22-28 throughout the city.
• Square 1682: Philadelphia’s first LEED-certified restaurant is celebrating Earth Week with Chef Tellez’s special Vegetable Tasting Menu. For a reduced cost of just $35 per person (or $60 per person, with eco-friendly wine pairings), guests will enjoy asparagus soup, crunchy asparagus tempura, asparagus timbale pasta and asparagus-zucchini cake.
• Davio’s: Give thanks to Mother Nature starting on Sunday, April 22, through April 29, 2012 at Davio’s. They’ll be serving a four-course prix-fixe dinner menu for $65 composed of sustainable and locally sourced ingredients from Blue Moon Acres farm. Top off your earthy feast with some “Dirt” dessert created by Pastry Chef Thomas Heck, prepared with oreo cookie crumbs, vanilla custard, strawberry compost and molded chocolate worms. Come in on April 22 to kick off Earth Day and have your dessert served in a clay pot to take home and enjoy!