The year 1970 was an all-time high for counterculture in the United States: it was the year the last Beatles album was published, the year Jimi Hendrix died, the year Simon & Garfunkel released “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” All across the United States, hippies with hearts of gold were standing up and speaking out about the issues they cared about.1
One of those issues was the environment. The 70’s (and the years preceding) weren’t exactly a banner time for sustainability.
Enter Earth Day.
The U.S. Senator from Wisconsin at the time, Gaylord Nelson, conceived of Earth Day as a “national teach-in on the environment,” hoping to raise awareness about air and water pollution. He also hoped to force environmental protection onto the national political agenda (we hear you, Senator Nelson). By 1990, Earth Day had gone global, providing at least one day each year for people to mobilize around environmental issues.
Today Earth Day is bigger (and dare we say more important) than ever. If you’re in New York City on April 22, here are seven ways to celebrate.
#1: Join a Scavenger Hunt at the Museum of the City of New York!
It’s no secret. We love scavengers hunts. And scavenger hunts that are designed to teach about the ways New Yorkers work to save our planet are even better!
The Museum in the City of the York will host an all-day Earth Day celebration on April 22, where you can enjoy activities, songs, books, and even learn how to make your own paper! The scavenger hunt will take place in the awesome exhibition Activist New York. Registration for the event is suggested but not required.
#2: Boogie Down at the Bronx Zoo
Love animals? Love learning about conservation? Love getting down? We’ve got the event for you.
Boogie Down at the Bronx Zoo is a limited-time-only-event that pairs live music, art, education, and animals together for an awesome experience. At Boogie Down, you can listen to local musicians, meet famous Bronx street artists, and even create your own artistic masterpiece. The event also features activities like history tours and old-school outdoor games. Your admission ticket to the zoo gets you into all the action.
#3: Take a Black Walnut Ink Workshop at the Oldest House in NYC!
In case you didn’t know, there is a legit farmhouse still standing in New York City (Brooklyn, to be specific). Parts of the Wyckoff House date back to the 1630s and the structure is a NYC landmark today.
The Wyckoff House is offering up some amazing seasonal events for families this Earth Day, including an artifact excavation, scavenger hunt, Black Walnut Ink workshop (so cool!), and is giving families the opportunity to take home a free tree! You know what they say about trees that grow in Brooklyn.2
#4: Volunteer with the Friends Committee of the Fort Tryon Park Trust
Earth Day is an awesome time to give back to your community and there are tons of ways to do so in New York City this year. One of those ways is to give back to Fort Tryon Park.
Bring your long pants, sunscreen, and sturdy shoes, but leave your everything else behind. Gloves, plants, and tools will all be provided. Group reservations required.
#5: Take a Hike to Seton Falls Parks
We can all use a break from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. If you’re craving some green on Earth Day, consider taking a hike to over to Seton Fall Parks in the Bronx.
As our friends at NYC Parks says, “hiking is the ultimate way to enjoy the outdoors and a fun way to reduce stress.” Urban Park Rangers will be on hand to guide your hike (if you so choose) and teach about the hidden gems of the park.
#6: Meet Some Dinosaurs at the Audubon Center
Head over to the Audubon Center in Prospect Park to join the Prospect Park Alliance for their annual Earth Day celebration. You can learn to fish sustainably through catch-and-release fishing lessons or meet some dinosaurs (aka owls and hawks) in the Boathouse.
Yeah, that’s right. They’re called raptors for a reason. #birdsaredesigners
Get Outside This Earth Day
Senator Nelson would thank you.
How are you celebrating Earth Day? Did we miss an awesome NYC Earth Celebration? Tell us in the comments!
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- Accessed 12 April 2018. “The History of Earth Day.” Retrieved from https://www.earthday.org/about/the-history-of-earth-day/
- They become the central metaphor in my favorite childhood book.