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The National Park Service is beginning its planning process for the newly established Fort Monroe National Monument. Be a part of the effort by attending a public meeting on April 30 or by submitting your comments online. Click here to visit the planning website.
Visit the Virginia Living Museum for a day full of Earth Day activities. Enjoy crafts, eco-friendly giveaways, environmental vendors, a native plant sale, animal shows, and learn new ways to help the environment. You can also see the animals in their most active state as they earn new treats through enrichment activities. Don’t forget to bring any batteries, cell phones, sneakers, or cosmetic containers for recycling. April 21, 9am to 5pm. Virginia Living Museum, 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601. $17/adult, $13 for kids 3 to 12. Contact Virginia Gabriele at 757-595-1900 for more info.
Join Belle Isle State Park for their first canoe trip of the season. Enjoy an informative tour of the wetlands and learn why they are some of the most productive systems on Earth. April 21, 1pm to 3pm. Belle Isle State Park, 1632 Belle Isle Rd., Lancaster, VA 22503. $5/person. Contact Charlene Talcott at 804-462-5030 for more info.
The whole family will enjoy musical performances, live animal shows, hayrides, food, canoe tours, guided hikes, and educational displays and activities. Join in the celebration of the spirit of Earth Day at this fun-filled family festival. Festival events begin at 10 A.M. with demonstrations, exhibits, live music and activities. April 21, 10am to 4pm. Mason Neck Visitor Center, 7301 High Point Rd., Lorton, VA 22079. Free. Contact Info: 703-339-2384 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hike a scenic 2 mile section of the Patapsco's trails and stretch your muscles with a guided yoga meditation. Wear comfortable clothes that you can stretch in and bring water, this will be a moderately difficult activity. For all ages. April 21, 8am to 10am. Patapsco Valley State Park, Avalon Area, 5120 South Street, Halethorpe, 21227. Free. Click here for directions. Contact Info: 410-461-5005 or email@example.com.
The James River State Park is offering you the chance to plant a tree...twice! For $15, you will get one tree to take home with you to plant at your house, and the Friend's Group will provide you with another tree to be planted at the park. You can help choose where in the park the tree will be planted, help plant it, then come back year after year to see its progress. April 22, 10am to 12pm. James River State Park Visitor Center, 104 Green Hill Drive, Gladstone, VA 24553. $15. Contact Info: 434-933-4395 or
Departing and returning from historic Chestertown, Sultana’s two-hour public sails are a great way to sail the Chester River onboard a traditional schooner. Passengers are encouraged to help raise the sails, steer using Sultana’s seven-foot long tiller and explore the authentically reproduced crew’s quarters below-decks. April 21, 2pm to 4pm. Schooner Sultana, Cannon Street, Chestertown, MD 21620. $30/person, $15 for kids under 12, Free for kids under 5. Contact Drew McMullen at 410-778-5954 for more info.
Hiking, camping, boating even walking the neighbor with the family pet can bring unsuspecting challenges to your outing. Dr. Johnny Slaughter DVM, will discuss ways to prepare you and your pet with first aid tips, safety ideas, and hiking/camping accessories to make this outdoor season fun for everyone. No pets please. This clinic is for humans only. April 20, 7pm to 8:15pm. Timonium REI, 63 W Aylesbury Rd., Timonium, MD 21093. Free. Contact Info: 410-252-5920.
Spend an afternoon with two real-life local heroes, Astronauts Fred Gregory and Paul Richards. They will make presentations about their experiences living and working in space and how research done by NASA gives insight into climate issues on the Chesapeake Bay. Gregory was the first African-American commander of Space Shuttle Discovery. Richards flew on Discovery as well and performed a "space walk."The event is perfect for families with children. Reservations are required. April 28, 12pm to 3pm. Annapolis Maritime Museum, Bay Room, 723 Second Street, Annapolis, MD 21403. Free. Contact Info: 410-295-0104 or
Visit the Eastern Shore for a busy birding weekend. Choose from dozens of trips, including Heron Rookery Paddle, Birding Delaware Seashore, Cape Birding Escape, Birds of Bombay Hook, Night Birds of the Marsh, and more.
Get outside, experience nature & enjoy some low-impact exercise searching for caches at this free, family-friendly event. After the Dash, relax at the after party with entertainment, door prizes, vendors, corn hole, and more. There will also be advanced and beginner geocache classes on Friday and a Crab Feast on Saturday. June 8, Classes (6 to 7:30pm) and June 9, Dash, Crab Feast, and After Party (8am Dash, 2pm After Party). WinterPlace Park, 6737 Blue Ribbon Rd., Salisbury, MD. Register online at wicomicotourism.org or call 410-548-4914.
Earth Day is a Volunteer Day
Many state and national parks are holding volunteer events to help improve their parks. Pickering Creek (April 21) is having an Action Day to clear their trails and enhance their habitat areas, while Parkers Creek Watershed Nature Preserve (April 21) will host a roadside cleanup and celebratory picnic. There’s a stream clean-up in Leesburg (April 22), a weed warrior day at the Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary (April 22), and a clean-up and overnight camping excursion at Rocks State Park. To find a volunteer event at a National Park near you, visit:
Composting with Master Gardeners Why throw away grass trimmings, raked leaves, and kitchen scraps when you can turn them into rich compost in your backyard? Use these materials instead for mulching and soil amendment. Join a composting workshop this Saturday at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis, MD to learn more. Other classes will be held on May 12, 30 and June 9 and 27.