Earth Day is happening on Sunday, April 22! We've got the lowdown on the best ways to celebrate in Washington, D.C.!

Since 1970, April 22 has officially been observed as a day to celebrate and take care of our beautiful planet. In an age where we have to worry about pollution affecting our air, water, and land, it is more important than ever to make a conscious effort to be considerate of our environment. Not only is doing this extremely important, it can also be therapeutic to come together and connect with nature and each other for the sake of our planet. And you can do just that with these Earth Day events happening all over Washington, D.C., this month! [caption id="attachment_8553" align="aligncenter" width="1389"] Image courtesy of www.history.com[/caption]
2018 Earth Day Celebration in Ward 7
On April 14, the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences at UDC is partnering with The Mission Continues for a day of environmental volunteer work. Volunteers will be helping the East Capitol Urban Farm (ECUF), which is located in Ward 7, a classified food desert. ECUF will be adding some new additions to their facilities, and they will need all the help they can get. If you are interested in getting your hands dirty and making a tangible change (work will include building gardens and walkways and installing sinks), register to help out here. The ECUF is located at 5901 East Capitol Street, and the event will take place between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Anacostia River Festival and River Cleanup
The fourth annual Anacostia River Festival, happening on April 15, celebrates the 100-year anniversary of Anacostia Park, where the event will be held. In honor of this landmark year, volunteers will gather the day before, on April 14, to pick up litter around the park. This litter will then be used in an educational presentation the following day at the festival. The festival itself will be between 1 p.m and 5 p.m., and participants will be able to ride in a bike parade, canoe on the Anacostia River, or shop at the Artisan Market.
Celebrate Earth Day Festival
Held at the U.S. Botanic Garden, this festival will have something for everyone. Come enjoy some hands-on activities, meet with local leaders of environmental organizations, and enjoy the beauty of the Botanic Garden! The festival will take place on Friday, April 20, from 10 p.m. to 2 p.m. No registration is required, so drop by and learn how to make the planet a better place to live.
Earth Day Volunteer Event at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens
On April 21, the Anacostia Watershed Society and Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens will partner together in the name of conservation for this special event. In honor of Earth Day, volunteers will meet at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens (1550 Anacostia Ave. Northeast) from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. to clean up the park. Work will include picking up trash, planting native plants, working in the greenhouse, and weeding out invasive species.  
Earth Optimism Day
On Saturday, April 21, from 10 p.m. to 2 p.m., the Smithsonian National Zoo will be hosting a day dedicated to celebrating conservation success. Learn about some of the ways conservationists are working to save endangered species, and hear about ways you can be a part of it. "Education Stations" will allow visitors to learn through hands-on activities. This event is free, but parking will cost $25, which is meant to encourage the use of public transportation.   [caption id="attachment_8554" align="aligncenter" width="1042"] Image courtesy of www.uumfe.org[/caption] There are so many ways to have fun while being a good steward of the environment! What are your favorite ways to celebrate Earth Day? Let us know in the comments!

Looking for more ways to celebrate nature? Check out "Newseum Nights: In Bloom" on April 13!