Amidst all the holidays in April, don’t forget Earth Day, which falls on Monday, April 22 this year. Starting this weekend, figure out what you can do to contribute and make a difference.
Proclaimed an international holiday by the United Nations in 1971, Earth Day launched the global movement of environmental awareness, including passing the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act. All of these helped fuel the world’s need to preserve, conserve and take action to sustain the planet. Earth Day highlights and stresses the importance of preserving the planet for generations to come.
Here’s a sampling of Earth Day events and celebrations, as well as some appropriate outdoor activities, on the East End.
Check out our Calendar to find more exciting events in the Hamptons, the North Fork and beyond.
Saturday, April 20
Surfrider Foundation Celebrates Earth Day
Ditch Plains in Montauk and Flying Point Beach in Water Mill
Surfrider will be improving local beaches in two East End towns for Earth Day. First, meet across from the East Deck Motel (40 Deforest Road) in Montauk at 9 a.m. and embark on a cleaning expedition at Ditch Plains Beach. Also, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Surfrider and others are joining forces to plant dune grass at Flying Point Beach in Southampton. Please bring a gardening trowel to plant the grass plugs. All are invited for what is sure to be a fun, feel-good community activity in one of two towns for Earth Day.
Riverhead Town Cleanup Day
210 Howell Avenue
Celebrate Earth Day by pitching in to clean up litter from local streets. Meet at Riverhead Town Hall on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. for trash bags, gloves and safety vests, and join the crowd to clean up the town. Undoubtedly, it will be a fun-filled and very gratifying day, plus your neighbors on the East End will love you.
Quogue Wildlife Refuge
3 Old Country Road
Rain or shine, there will be some cool outdoor events at this excellent Hamptons refuge from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Offered jointly with the Eastern Long Island Audubon Society, enjoy guided nature walks, children’s crafts, exhibitions about the environment, reptile and birds of prey presentations, and canoeing and kayaking on Old Ice Pond. Call 631-653-4771 or check out quoguewildliferefuge.com for more information.
Montauk Point Seal Hike
Drive on 27 until it stops
Meet at the Montauk Lighthouse Concession Building for a 2- to 3-hour outdoor hike at 9 a.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday. Walk the Montauk shore and catch a glimpse of the local seal (also known as merdog) population! Reservations for this unique Hamptons outing are required. Call 631-668-5000.
Canio’s Books Celebrates Earth Day
290 Main Street, Sag Harbor
Canio’s proudly flies an original earth flag all year long, so it’s only appropriate this unique bookstore and cultural hub recognize Earth Day. From 5-6 p.m., local environmentalists will read selections from some of the great nature writers. Canio’s will also announce their “Earth Conscious Essay Contest” and share plans for our next community discussion course from the Northwest Earth Institute. Stop by to read a selection or just to listen. Readers must register. Call 631-725-4926 or visit caniosbooks.com for info and reservations.
CHICK-A-PA-LOOZA! Spring Festival
Garden of Eve Organic Farm & Market
4558 Sound Avenue, Riverhead
This lovely farm and market is hosting workshops about gardening, farm tours and other fun-inspired and earth-centered programs for all to enjoy. Learning about honest, organic farming is a delightful way to celebrate Earth Day. Be there Saturday and Sunday, April 20-21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free, rain or shine. Visit gardenofevefarm.com or call 631-722-8777 for details.
Monday-Friday, April 22-28
Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center
431 East Main Street, Riverhead
Come to the Aquarium where Earth Day is celebrated every day. From April 22-28, this exciting and educational Riverhead venue will promote respect for the environment and help show visitors ways to keep the planet healthy, collectively and individually. And don’t miss World Penguin Day, with penguin crafts and a special talk in the Penguin Pavilion, on Thursday, April 25. Call 631-208-9200 or visit longislandaquarium.com for details.
Get Involved: Help the Environment Every Day!
The Twin Forks are home to a host of environmental and green organizations that could always use your help. Donate your time or money to one of these great local groups and do your part to maintain the East End’s natural beauty.
The Nature Conservancy
Located on Route 114 in East Hampton, this volunteer organization sponsors special events from ecological research to beach patrols to preserve the Earth’s natural resources and inhabitants, and sustain area ecosystems. Call 631-329-7689 or visit nature.org/longisland to help.
North Fork Audubon Society
Connect with the North Fork Audubon Society and learn about the habitats of local birds and wildlife, as well as how to preserve and protect them. Students of all ages participate in hands-on environmental and natural science programs year round. Check out northforkaudubon.org for more information, call 631-477-6456 or visit The Red House at Inlet Pond County Park, 65275 Route 48 in Greenport.
North Fork Environmental Council
Events, such as the annual Spring Beach Cleanup, are planned to promote the preservation of land, sea, air and quality of life on the North Fork. Connect with this great group on Earth Day and every day to better the region. Visit nfec1.org or call 631-298-8880 to contact this Mattituck organization and see how you can help to raise environmental awareness locally.
Group for the East End
This regional org protects and restores the environment of eastern Long Island through education, citizen action and professional advocacy with the ultimate goal of inspiring local people to embrace a conservation ethic. The Group reaches more than 2,500 students in public and private schools each year has educated nearly 60,000 kids on the East End over the past 25 years. They also sponsor outdoor programs and education for grown ups! Call 631-765-6450 or visit groupfortheeastend.org.
For a national look at the greenest of holidays (it’s not St. Patrick’s Day!), visit earthday.org.