Celebrated annually on April 22nd, Earth Day is a “day of political action and civic participation” that takes place in support of environmental protection and sustainable energy. This is more important than ever with the increasing threat of global warming and climate change. Today, over a billion activists mobilize in over 190 countries to march, meet with their elected officials and clean up their neighborhoods, among other initiatives on April 22nd.
This year, Earth Day 2018 will focus on mobilizing the world to end plastic pollution, creating support to eliminate single-use plastics and establish global regulation for plastic disposal. From walking down car-free streets to a tree giveaway, there are countless Earth Day events taking place across New York City to celebrate our wonderful planet:
10. Spring Fest in Outdoor Tent at Camp Arlo
Spring Fest. Image courtesy Arlo Hotels
Next weekend, Arlo Soho is hosting Spring Fest at Camp Arlo , a free “sustainable, organic festival and fundraiser” in celebration of Earth Day. During this unique, two-day event, attendees can listen to live music sets, support sustainable artisans, meditate and join art classes, where you can make a dream catcher or paint a succulent pot. There will also be a viewing of the documentary Plastic Oceans, which examines the impact of plastic pollution on ocean life. All proceeds from the event will go towards the organization.
It all takes place on April 21st and 22nd, from 12 to 7pm, at Arlo Soho’s (231 Hudson Street) converted backyard. As part of the experience, outdoor tents will be set up, where visitors can “hang out, meditate, eat, drink…” For more information and the full line up of scheduled events, click here.
9. Join a Earth Day 5K Green Tour
A great way to celebrate Earth Day is by heading outdoors! Join the 5K Earth Day Green Tour to meet and get involved with some of New York City’s green groups. Tour-goers will have the opportunity to learn about the various sustainability initiatives happening around the city. Visit a living green wall and a Broadway theater that’s going green, and also participate in a solar energy tutorial, among other activities.
The three-hour tour, hosted by Earth Day Initiative, includes lunch and free gift bags provided by Ecobags, the official bag sponsor of Earth Day New York.
8. Go on an Outdoor Untapped Cities Tour
Rediscover your city with one of our outdoor tours coming up soon. Join us in discovering the Secrets of the Brooklyn Bridge or go on a Behind-the-Scenes Hard Hat Tour of the Ellis Island Hospital! Learn more about each unique event below:
Secrets of the Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour
Beyond the Brooklyn Bridge’s stately exterior lies an epic origin story. Now over 130 years old, the granite and limestone structure has dazzled both tourists and residents alike. On our tour, discover the many secrets about the span, including its old Cold War fall out shelter, hidden champagne vaults and an abandoned park that’s hidden in plain sight.
Behind-the-Scenes Hard Hat Tour of the Abandoned Ellis Island Hospital
Explore the over 100-year-old contagious disease hospital on Ellis Island, which has been abandoned since 1954. Discover its kitchen, autopsy room and other usually off-limits places, and get special access inside the original morgue and long abandoned FBI offices.
7. Self-Guided Tour of New York City’s Trees
There are about 5.2 million trees in New York City, and almost 600,000 of them are on city streets. On a day like Earth Day, why not go on a self-guided walk to see some of the most famous ones? Pay a visit to the oldest and tallest tree in New York City: the Queens Giant at Alley Pond Park. Then, there’s the landmarked Magnolia grandiflora in Bed Stuy and a 100-feet Redwood right on Houston Street! Make sure to also check out our guide to historic trees in Manhattan, which includes the Hare Krishna Tree in Tompkins Square Park and the Madison Tree in Madison Square Park.
6. Earth Day Garden Meditation at Wave Hill
Join artist and yogi, Sara Hart, at the Wave Hill public garden and cultural center to participate in a mediation session on April 21st from 11am to 12pm. Using this form of healing art, participants can “practice simple techniques to connect and feel grounded on any occasion.” You’ll be surrounded by garden landscape, and have access to the grounds for free until noon. Registration is not required. For more information, click here.
5. Orchid Evenings at the New York Botanical Garden
Come explore this year’s edition of The Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden. Leading Belgian floral artist, Daniel Ost, celebrates the beauty of the orchid with his impressive “living sculptures” that highlight stunning flowers in the NYBG collection.
The last two days for the after hours viewing of the show, Orchid Evenings, take place on April 20th and 21st from 6:30pm to 9:30pm. Enjoy live music and performances, sip on the speciality cocktail, Dancing Lady, and stroll through the lush conservatory during this colorful nighttime outing. Grab your tickets here.
4. Car Free Earth Day Around the City
Celebrate Earth Day early this year with New York City’s annual car-free day, held on Saturday, April 21st. The 30 blocks on Broadway between Times Square and Union Square will be closed to cars between 9am and 3pm to allow people to explore on foot. New York City’s Department of Transportation states, “Car Free Day NYC is to encourage New York City drivers to choose alternative means of moving about NYC on Earth Day.”
Car Free Earth Day will feature a variety of activities and environmental programming at five rest stops: Times Square (42nd Street and Broadway), Herald Square (34th Street and Broadway), Garment (39th Street and Broadway), Flatiron (23rd Street and Broadway), and Union Square (17th Street and Broadway). Prepare for a day of musical performances, fitness classes, walking tours, art installations, arts and crafts workshops and more.
3. Earth Day Block Party in Downtown Brooklyn
Photo courtesy Downtown Brooklyn Partnership
On Saturday, April 21st between 1pm and 5pm, Downtown Brooklyn is celebrating Earth Day by organizing a block party on Albee Square and Albee Square West. The “environmentally-friendly music troupe” Bash the Trash will put on a concert for attendees, lead a parade, and help kids build instruments made from recycled products. Other events include an all-ages dance class led by Dodge YMCA and DJ Mike Doelo, and sustainable arts and crafts workshops.
Free Arts NYC is also partnering with City Point to bring to life a 100% recyclable giant maze. Come with your family and friends for a scavenger hunt inside, or view an exhibit by Brooklyn SolarWorks to learn more about solar energy. The full schedule of events can be found here.
2. New York Restoration Project Tree Giveaway
Image courtesy New York Restoration Project
This year, help plant a tree in honor of Earth Day! The New York Restoration Project is partnering again with community organizations throughout the five boroughs to give away hundreds of free trees to New Yorkers. Join the ongoing mission to transform public spaces into more nature-friendly areas by planting trees across the city.
Before picking up a free tree, make sure to preregister. You must agree to: “plant in one of the five boroughs; keep trees properly watered and maintained; and plant your tree in the ground of your yard or community garden and NOT along streets or in city parks.” See here for locations and times.
1. See Nature-Related Exhibits at The Met
Thomas Cole’s Journey: Atlantic Crossing
In the 200 years since Thomas Cole’s arrival to the United States, landscapes have drastically evolved. Yet some are still as lush as those he once painted. Visitors can observe the evolution of American landscapes by prominent American and European artists in the 19th century and beyond.
Public Parks, Private Gardens: from Paris to Provence
Delve into French gardens in this exhibit, which celebrates horticultural developments across France. Objects from The Met’s collection, including paintings, drawings, and illustrated books, provide a look at 19th century artists’ celebration of parks and gardens as places of “leisure, renewal, and inspiration.”
Diamond Mountains: Travel and Nostalgia in Korean Art
The Diamond Mountains in North Korea are revered sites in the Korean Peninsula. This exhibit features scrolls, screens and other works — some presented for the first time in the United States — as a celebration of the site’s importance and as a commemoration to mark the twentieth anniversary of the establishment of The Met’s Arts of Korea Gallery.
The Poetry of Nature: Edo Paintings from the Fishbein-Bender Collection
Discover the relationship between poetry and visual arts that blossomed during the Edo period in Japan (1615–1868).
Streams and Mountains without End: Landscape Traditions of China
An ode to landscapes, this exhibition showcases over 100 Chinese landscape paintings in four different rotations. The exhibit itself “offers insights into the tradition, revealing distinctions between types of landscape that might not be obvious at first glance.”