What is Earth Day? It’s an annual event celebrated around the world on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection and to flood the world with hope, optimism and action. This year is particularly significant because Earth Day is marking its 50th anniversary! The theme for Earth Day 2020 is climate action. The enormous challenge, but also the vast opportunities, of action on climate change have distinguished the issue as the most pressing topic for the 50th anniversary.
Here are some of the ways our local partners and environmental organizations are celebrating Earth Day this year.
City of Annapolis
Throughout the month of April, the City of Annapolis has been celebrating Earth Month with daily pledges that residents can take to help improve the planet. These virtual pledges and ideas for simple, stay-at-home earth-friendly practices are things that Annapolitans can incorporate into daily life. These daily pledges include a pledge on April 22, 2020, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.
The pledges have been broken into four categories:
Water (example: clean up after your pet, conserve water in the garden)
Air (example: walk, bike or use transit, switch to LED bulbs)
Habitat (example: grow oysters, use natural cleaning products, create a pollinator garden)
Earth (example: opt for paperless billing, plant a tree, create a meal plan to reduce food waste)
Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay
Join the Alliance on Earth Day for a Facebook Live that focuses on environmental stewardship and everyday actions you can take in your home and your daily life to become a better steward of the environment and the Chesapeake Bay. The Alliance will share tips, tricks, and lots of resources for you to use in your home. There will also be a live Q&A where you can ask a few of the staff anything you want to know about how to do your part for your local rivers, streams, lands, and the Chesapeake Bay. Follow the Alliance on Facebook to join in on April 22.
Scenic Rivers Land Trust
Even with stay at home restrictions, we can still venture outside for fresh air and exercise—while conforming to state and county requirements for safe social distancing—so Scenic Rivers put together a Bacon Ridge Natural Area Photo Scavenger Hunt to add a little whimsy to your weekly hike. Head to the Hawkins Road Trailhead with our checklist in hand and see how many items you can find! Share your photos to social media (Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram) and tag Scenic Rivers Land Trust @scenicrivers and you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a prize.
Join Annapolis Green on April 25 from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm to learn virtually about driving electric — one of the best things you can do to mitigate the effects of Climate Change. The EV Earth Day Showcase was to have been presented by Annapolis Green during the Severna Park Earth Day Festival and as part of the national Drive Electric Earth Day event but we’re going virtual instead.
On April 22, grab a cup of coffee and join GreenGive for “Saving the Earth is Personal,” an interactive chat with local environmental leaders. Get up close and personal as you learn about what makes them tick, how they are incorporating environmental stewardship into their own lives, and what their guilty “quarantine” pleasures are. Share your own thoughts on environmental leadership. Guests include: Jacqueline Guild, Director, City of Annapolis Office of Environmental Policy; Matt Johnston, Director, Environmental Policy for Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman; Carmera Thomas-Wilhite, Baltimore Program Manager, Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Chat via Zoom at 10 a.m.
The Green Give celebrations continue after Earth Day. Join the GreenGive organizations — Annapolis Green, Arundel Rivers Federation, ClearShark H2O, Friends of Jug Bay, Scenic Rivers Land Trust, Severn River Association, Severn Riverkeeper, Spa Creek Conservancy, St. Luke’s Restoration of Nature, Unity Gardens, Watershed Stewards Academy — as they collaborate with local environmental partners — Maryland Hall, Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center, Anne Arundel County Watershed Protection and Restoration Program, National Aquarium, Annapolis Maritime Museum — to celebrate Earth Day through the end of April. Even while social distancing, there are many more ways to make your celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day informative and fun.
On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day 2020, join the Smithsonian online for a FREE Earth Optimism digital event showcasing stories of both small and large-scale actions, framing the conversation and demonstrating that success is possible. Share your stories of success with #EarthOptimism and help us inspire millions of people around the world for greater impact!
And check out the official Earth Day Live, with messages, performances, and calls to action as the world’s largest civic event goes digital for the first time in its history. Happy Earth Day!