On April 22, 1970, U.S. citizens spoke out in protest of what was happening to our planet—pollution, smog, overuse of pesticides—all contributing to a decline in Earth’s biodiversity. The peoples’ voices were heard, and a few months later President Nixon and the US Congress created the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
With that protest, Earth Day was born. This yearly event takes place globally on April 22nd and, according to the Earth Day Network, has become the largest community-focused day of action in the world. People come together on Earth Day to stand up for our planet and urge both individuals and governments to make changes that will improve our environment today and for future generations.
The theme for Earth Day 2019 is “Protect Our Species”, focusing on protecting Earth’s threatened and endangered wildlife. Today’s biggest threat to plant and animal life is humans—climate change, deforestation, the destruction of natural habitats, pollution, unsustainable agriculture, and poaching are just some examples of the many ways our society is disrupting the balance of nature. The Earth Day Network is using this Earth Day to ask people to join them in raising awareness about the extinction rates of many species and encourage both individuals and policymakers to make changes in order to slow that rate down.
There are several fun and educational Earth Day events taking place around the Triangle that will give you and your family the opportunity to learn more about what you can do to preserve our planet.
Levine Science Research Center Courtyard, Duke University, Durham
Friday, April 19
12:00 p.m.—4:00 p.m.
Duke’s 2019 Earth Day celebration is themed “To Save the Planet, Save the People”, and aims to show how individuals can connect, protect, and restore our planet. This lively event includes
local food and beverages, live music and dancing, activity booths hosted by student groups and sustainability initiatives, games, crafts, and giveaways.
Harris Lake County Park, 2112 County Park Drive, New Hill
Saturday, April 20
2:00 p.m.—3:30 p.m.
Uncover the interesting history of this area through engaging tales of long ago. Farming history, advances in farming equipment, mapping techniques, tending livestock, and daily chores will be brought to life during this one-mile hike.
Historic Yates Mill County Park, 4620 Lake Wheeler Road, Raleigh
Monday, April 22
8:30 a.m.—5:00 p.m.
Celebrate Earth Day at the park while learning fun facts about our planet and getting tips on how to take care of it. Make an Earth bracelet before going on a treasure hunt hike to search for “gold-coins” containing Earth-friendly hints.
The Brickyard, NC State University campus, Raleigh
Monday, April 22
10:00 a.m.—2:00 p.m.
This Earth-focused fair, sponsored by the NC State University Sustainability Office, will feature exhibits, demonstrations, and ideas on how you can improve the world. Learn about sustainability, food, water, transportation, nature, wellness and more.
Durant Nature Preserve, 8305 Camp Durant Road, Raleigh
Monday, April 22
5:30 p.m.—6:30 p.m.
Enjoy an easy-paced nature hike through the forest on Earth Day evening. During this 1.5 mile relaxing stroll, you’ll stop occasionally to see interesting things along the trail and learn about the origins of Earth Day.
Crowder County Park, 4709 Ten Ten Road, Apex
Tuesday, April 23
Celebrate Earth Day while learning creative ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle everyday objects. Prepare to get crafty making bird feeders and musical instruments, and blowing bubbles.
Museum of Life & Science, 433 West Murray Avenue, Durham
Saturday, April 27
9:00 a.m.—2:00 p.m.
Celebrate Earth Day at the Museum with a giant party for the planet! Local conservation groups and Paperhand Puppet Intervention will be on hand with environmentally friendly activities, giveaways, and games. Check out the info fair, explore backyard conservation in The Lab, enjoy keeper talks, visit the puppet petting zoo, help plant a pollinator garden, learn about the Butterfly Highway, and even join a parade through the park.
Bond Park, 801 High House Road, Cary
Saturday, April 27
9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Visit Earth Day Lane near the boathouse at Spring Daze in Bond Park to learn more about preserving and protecting the environment. Family-friendly games, giveaways, exhibits, and activities provide information about what you can do to help keep your community green. Town experts will be on-hand for Q&A on a wide range of environmentally-focused programs and initiatives.
Durham Central Park, 501 Foster Street, Durham
Sunday, April 28
12:00 p.m.—5:00 p.m.
The whole family will enjoy this day filled with an eclectic mix of music, food, and hands-on environmental education activities. Visit the Earth Day Market, climb the rock wall, learn about recycling and composting, grab a bite from a variety of food trucks, or dress as your favorite plant or animal and join in the Earth Day parade.
Tell us in the comments how you and your family will be celebrating Earth Day!