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Celebrate Earth Day

Family-friendly Earth Day celebrations in the Hudson Valley

earth day events and activities

Curious why Earth Day is so important? Let’s take a quick history lesson.

Back in 1970, in the height of the hippy movement and Vietnam War protests, Gaylord Nelson, the U.S. Senator from Wisconsin thought if he could re-channel the energy of the anti- war movement he could capitalize on the emerging public concern for water and air pollution. Building a large staff, he set out to promote events across the country for what would later be known as the first National Earth Day.

On April 22, 1970, twenty million Americans took to the streets as part of a massive rally across the country.

Today the Earth Day fight continues to ensure we are channeling our energies specially to leave a clean, healthy and diverse earth for the new generation.

Here in the Hudson Valley we are no exception. Read on to find out how you can help.

1. Earth Day Clean ups- Participate in one of the many clean- ups throughout the Hudson Valley this week and weekend. Scenic Hudson Cleanup on Friday, April 22 from 10am-2pm at Long Dock Park in Beacon. The Riverkeeper is hosting a Crystal Lake Cleanup in Newburgh on April 20th from 2:30-5:30pm in celebration of Clearwater’s Earth Week. Monroe Clean Sweep will take place on April 30th at 9am to clean up roads from the village of Harriman to Airplane Park in the Village of Monroe.

2. Eagles, streams and trees at Bowdoin park- There are quite a few Hudson Valley parks perfect to play outside this earth day. Here we can talk to our kids about the importance of trees, wild animals and more. Bowdoin Park in Wappingers Falls is one of our favorites for nature watching, you might even spot a bald eagle! At the open fields just past the playground the kids can splash in the little stream, I promise you, HOURS of fun. Just up the hill past the stream is the coolest old tree I have ever seen. My kids recently discovered the back is hollowed out which makes for some great imaginative play.

3. Feed the Bears at the Trailside Zoo- Take a trip to Bear Mountain on Saturday, April 22 for the Trailside Zoo’s annual Earth Day Celebration. At 10:30am make bear treats at the bear den then watch at 11am as they come gobble up their handmade treats. Enjoy a day of family- fun with an earth- friendly focus. Make nature crafts, see spring themed animal enrichment and the first 75 families will receive a native tree seedling.

4. Take a hike at an environmental research center- This environmental research center has a team of scientists that study topics of our earth including freshwater health, infectious disease, biochemistry, invasive species and climate change. The trails are open for exploring on over 2,000 acres of preserve land. On-going programs as well. Millbrook.

5. Earth Day Learning and Fun in the “Green Zone”- On April 22 from 11am until 3pm your family can have tons of fun while learning at the same time with Museum Educator led activities, nature play in Grasshopper Grove, interactive games, hay rides, live animals and more! Music and the Young Naturalist’s presentation of “The Lorax” at 11:30am. Refreshments will also be available. Fee of $5 a car and fee for hayrides. Hudson Highlands Nature Museum. Muser Dr., Cornwall.

6. Visit a National Park. Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service on April 22nd with free admission to any of the National Parks- and we have quite a few right here in the Hudson Valley and nearby: National Park Day Trips can be found

7. Take a walk on the trails. The Hyde Park trail is a 10- mile system of trails and walkways linking Town parks, nature preserves and National Park sites with local neighborhoods and the Town’s central business corridor. The cool part is, you can look for signs throughout the trails and nature sites, call 845-475-3819 from your cell phone, enter your stop number and hear all about the area and Hyde Park’s rich legacy. Also, walk at least 5 of the listed trails in a year, keep track on the free checklist and turn it in for a free reward! I hope more towns follow suite, how fun!

8. Paint a Flower Pot. Paint a clay pot and plant a seasonal flower or herb to take home and then enjoy a delicious lunch or treat at Frida's Bakery and Cafe for a very special Earth Day celebration for families. Must Register.

9. Astounding Earth Day Craft-a-long. Drop in at the Goshen Public Library for a party for Mother Earth and all her magic between 12 and 3 and make some earth friendly crafts with the kids. 

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