There are many ways to celebrate Earth Day – connecting with nature and learning more about the animals that call your community home is just the start. If you’re looking to get involved this Earth Day, here are local environmental organizations to visit and events to attend across Long Island to raise awareness and “go green.”
SPRING BREAK SCIENCE WEEK PROGRAM Learn about the animals in the touch tank, go on a beach scavenger hunt and more. The program runs from 1-4 p.m. April 18-22 at the WaterFront Center; 1 West End Ave., Oyster Bay, $165, thewaterfrontcenter.org.
EARTH DAY PADDLE Experience the Carmans River in early spring and see birds and wildlife in their natural habitat from 6-8 a.m. April 22. The canoe and kayak tour of the Carmans River lasts two hours and snacks and drinks are provided. Space is limited and reservations are required; $30 if you bring your own kayak/canoe, $55 for a single kayak rental and $65 for a canoe. Participants must wear quick-drying clothing; 2979 Montauk Hwy., Brookhaven, eventbrite.com, 631-987-1023.
EQUINOX DOCS FILM SERIES See nature films screened in partnership with the Hamptons Doc Fest. Films include “Bring Your Own Brigade,” which examines wildfires and their severity around the world at 6 p.m. April 22, “The Velvet Queen,” a documentary set in the Tibetan highlands at 2 p.m. April 23 ; and “River,” which explores the relationship between humans and rivers, narrated by Willem DaFoe, at 3 p.m. April 24. Admission is $15; Southampton Arts Centre, 25 Jobs Lane, Southampton, southamptonartscenter.org, 631-283-0967
EARTH DAY FOR TEENS AND ADULTS Join experts from the Long Island Children’s Museum on Earth Day to discuss climate change at 5:30 p.m. on April 22 at the museum. Free, but tickets are required; 11 Davis Avenue, Garden City, licm.org.
LONG ISLAND PLANETARY SCIENCE MUSEUM The children’s holiday program focuses on how to make the planet a better place. It explores rain gardens, composting facility and more, plus eco-friendly projects learning to be green from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 22, $90, $5 discount for sibling registration, registration required; 1526 N. Plandome Rd., Manhasset, smli.org.
BEACH CLEANUP AT EAST MARION Bring water and work gloves and help remove debris from the Cove waterfront, Dam Pond and Truman’s Beach to help ensure a healthy marine environment for wildlife and humans from 10 a.m. to noon on April 22 with the Peconic Land Trust and the Surfrider Foundation Eastern Long Island Chapter. Meet at Truman’s Beach Route 25, East Marion, register at peconiclandtrust.org, 631-283-3195.
BEACH WALK AND RIVERHEAD CLEANUP Join the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society for a beach walk and cleanup at Hallock State Park Preserve. Walk along the beach and pick up debris so it doesn’t return to Long Island Sound; 10:00 a.m. on April 23. All beach cleaning supplies will be provided, but it is recommended that you bring your own gloves; 6062 Sound Ave., Riverhead, email [email protected] for pre-registration, amseas.org.
EARTH DAY WILDLIFE REFUGE Celebrate nature and the planet at Quogue Wildlife Refuge with guided bird walks, live animal presentations, crafts, environmental exhibitors, and self-guided kayaking and canoeing on Old Ice Pond from noon to 3 p.m. April 23 ; 3 Old Country Road, Quogue, quoguewildliferefuge.org, 631-653-4771.
DARK SKY WEEK Visit the Custer Institute and Observatory to experience the dark sky and find out what you can do to protect the night sky at 8:30 p.m. April 23; if the weather is clear, the dome and other on-site staff-guided telescopes will be open for viewing. Guests may arrive anytime between 8:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., suggested donation $5 for adults, $3 for under 16s; 1115 Main Bayview Rd., Southold, custerobservatory.org, 631-765-2626.
CELEBRATE EARTH DAY AT LI EXPLORIUM This program explores the natural environment of Long Island through hands-on activities and presentations from 9-11 a.m. April 23 at the Long Island Explorium. The museum will also feature Earth Day exhibits and live music on the terrace from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission to the celebration is $5; 101 East Broadway, Port Jefferson, longislandexplorium.org, 631-331-3277.
SPRING APPRECIATION DAY Enjoy live music, a petting zoo, scavenger hunt, vintage car show and more at 1:30 p.m. April 23 at the Stony Brook Village Center. The Stony Brook Grist Mill will be open for tours ($4 for adults, $2 for children, cash only). Free; Main Street, Stony Brook, stonybrookvillage.com, 631-751-2244.
EVENING TOWER VISIT Experience the sunset from a new perspective from the top of Fire Island Lighthouse at 7 p.m. on April 23. Reservations are required and admission is $25. Park at Robert Moses Field 5 and walk east to the lighthouse. Bring a flashlight for your return walk. Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society, fireislandlighthouse.com, 631-583-5901.
SEASON LAUNCH AND EARTH DAY EVENT The Roosevelt Community Garden provided a place where members could gather and enjoy the process of growing their own produce. At 10 a.m. on April 23, take part in hands-on gardening activities, gardening lessons and refreshments. If you are interested in volunteering, email Andrea Millwood at [email protected]; 59 E. Fulton Ave., Roosevelt, northshorelandalliance.org.
EARTH DAY 5K Celebrate the preservation of Mother Earth with a 5K ($30 in advance / $35 race day) through the tree-lined bike paths of Eisenhower Park at 9:30 a.m. on April 24. There will also be a free fun race for the kids starting at 9 a.m. All participants will receive a medal and an Earth Day 5K t-shirt; Meet at Field 2, East Meadow, elitefeats.com.
EARTH DAY AT THE SWEETBRIAR NATURE CENTER Celebrate the wonders of the natural world by meeting resident animals and participating in a scavenger hunt from 1 to 3 p.m. on April 24 at the Sweetbriar Nature Center. Admission is $10 for children and $5 for adults; 62 Eckernkamp Dr., Smithtown, sweetbriarnc.org, 631-979-6344.
FORT SALONGA BEACH CLEANUP The New York Marine Rescue Center conducts beach cleanups at various locations around Long Island to help eradicate marine debris from the local environment. Cleanups are scheduled at the Fire Island Wilderness Visitors Center in Shirley and Crab Meadow Beach in Fort Salonga from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 24, signupgenious.com.
SPRING PLANTING FIELDS 5K Run or walk the wooded trails as you traverse the historic landscape of Planting Fields from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on April 24. All registrants will receive a personal bib, photo, $35 registration fee, $30 in advance; contact Josh Rosenbaum at [email protected] to register; 1395 Plantation Fields Road, Oyster Bay.
WILD STEVE BRILL Take a three-hour spring tour to find edible plants at 1 p.m. on April 24 at Sunken Meadow State Park in Kings Park. Meet at the benches between the Bathhouse and Parking Lot 1, suggested donation $20 for adults, $10 for children under 12, call to register at least 24 hours in advance, wildmanstevebrill .com, 914-835-2153.
BAY CLEANING Become a SPLASH (Stop Polluting, Littering and Save Harbors) volunteer and patrol the urban waters of Long Island’s South Shore removing debris, monitoring and identifying pollutants. Cleanup boats depart from Freeport, Wantagh/Bellmore/Merrick, Massapequa, East Rockaway/Bay Park, Lindenhurst and Island Park/Long Beach. Tours vary; operationsplash.org, 202 Woodcleft Ave., Freeport, $20 registration fee applies, $25 for family, 516-378-4770.