- Mary Buck
How can you help the Earth? There are lots of ways to get involved in conservation whether you're a kid, teen, or adult. Check out the local activities, Web sites and library materials listed below for some great ideas.
Join a Club
The Virginia Cooperative Extension Agency offers 4-H clubs. If you are between the ages of 5 and 18, you can learn about plant and soil sciences, the environment and natural resources as well as animal sciences from great teachers. There are 4-H clubs in Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Westmoreland counties. These have hands-on activities that strongly encourage leadership development. 4-H projects are fun and can be competitive.
Become a Friend of the River
Not of a mind to face the crowds at the National Mall celebration? Consider volunteering with the Friends of the Rappahannock. From planting trees to designing and painting rain barrels, they have many volunteer opportunities.
Fun Things to Do to Celebrate Earth Day:
Earth Day Celebration at Old Mill Park
April 12th, 2014 11am-3pm
FREE ADMISSION! Learn about alternative fuel cars, visit with dozens of exhibitors, participate in hands on activities and nature hikes, enjoy live music, interact with live animals, and visit the food vendors for lunch! Bring grandma, the neighbors, friends, and learn what you can do to reduce your impact on the environment while having GREAT FAMILY FUN along the beautiful Rappahannock River.
Earth Day on the National Mall
2014 Date to Be Announced. The Earth Day event is expected to include a rally, musical entertainment, civic leaders, and celebrity speakers. The Environmental Protection Agency will also host family-friendly, hands-on activities in their National Sustainable Design Expo where EPA, green businesses, nonprofits and college students from across the country will showcase their efforts to protect the planet.
Earth Month at Union Station
April 1-30, 2014. This year, a month-long celebration will feature interactive, eco-friendly exhibits and activities to raise awareness of environmental issues and encourage sustainability. On April 22, be sure to check out the full day of entertainment, discussion panels, contests, games, giveaways and much more.
Potomac Watershed Cleanup
Annual Cleanup Day, April 5, 2014, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. Throughout April, families can help remove trash from one of 276 sites along the Potomac River in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia.
Earth Day at the National Zoo
April 21, 2014, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. "This year the Zoo is celebrating Easter Monday and Earth Day together on Monday, April 21st! Please join us for special family-focused activities and live entertainment. We'll have a traditional Easter Egg Hunt and animal demonstrations as well as visits from the Easter Panda! It's also a Party for the Planet and you can bring your old cell phone to recycling stations in the Visitor's Center and learn about green design and sustainability initiatives at the Zoo. Admittance is free!"
This event will be held rain or shine
United States Botanic Garden
April 25, 2014, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Conservancy Terrace. Enjoy cooking demonstrations with seasonal produce and meet with representatives of environmental organizations from throughout the region. Drop by and learn all the ways that you can make the planet a healthier place and become a more active steward of the plants that support life on earth.
Good Stuff at the Library
The next time you visit the library, check out the materials listed below for more ideas on how to help the environment...
E is for Environment: Stories to Help Children Care for Their World – at Home, at School and at Play by Ian James Corlett
Twenty-six stories help to teach the importance of the environment and what children can do to help the Earth.
Green Living: No Action Too Small by Lucia Raatma.
From fighting global warming to protecting wildlife, this book contains the information young environmentalists need to change the world.
Protecting the Planet: Environmental Activism by Pamela Dell
Explores how we can help the environment through the things that we do.
Green Crafts: Become an Earth-friendly Craft Star, Step by Easy Step! by Megan Friday
Sixteen green-themed crafts ideas that involve decorating household items with environmental slogans or icons. Some of the projects suggest ways of recycling used objects, while others have crafters use new materials to make reusable items. Side notes explain how each craft helps protect the environment.
Love Your World: How to Take Care of the Plants, the Animals, and the Planet by Dawn Sirett
You can make a big difference if you help take care of the planet. From growing a garden in a tray to recycling trash, this book is full of ideas.
Earth Day Fun on the Web:
Visit these Web sites for games, stories, quizzes, and projects
EekoWorld: PBS Kids Go!
EekoWorld is designed to help children between the ages of 6 and 9 learn about the important role they can play in taking care of the earth. EekoWorld (Environmental Education for Kids Online) features two interactive games, children will be able to create their own unique land-, air- or water-dwelling EekoCreatures, or they can explore their own EekoHouses, a simulation resembling their real home lives that shows how decisions they make affect the environment and their EekoCreature.
Environmental Protection Agency
Visit the Students K-12 area for homework or science fair help, games to play, and student blog postings to read.
The Green Squad
The site teaches kids about the relationship between their schools and environmental and health issues. Designed primarily for students in fifth through eighth grades, the site also offers information for younger and older students as well as parents and teachers.
Species fact sheets, “wild games,” web of life, how kids can help defend the environment, and a Wildlife Adoption Center.
National Geographic Kids: Dare to Explore!
Through games, videos, and other fun stuff, learn about different animals and countries, science, nature, geography, and much more!
Learn how to reduce waste, use less energy, and save money by doing simple things at home, at work, and in your neighborhood.
A Student’s Guide to Global Climate Change
This EPA site explores global warming, what causes it, and what you can do to help stop it through definitions of scientific terms and simple global warming-themed games.