Earth Day—the Right Way
It’s not about peace signs. It’s about getting back to the land.
Here, it’s cool to be green. Our buildings use renewable energy. Our fine restaurant menus are chock full of ingredients from local family farms. Our boutiques are filled with handmade items constructed from recycled or sustainable materials. So, when you think of Earth Day, are you still picturing hippies in tie-dye and love beads sitting around in a drum circle? You shouldn’t be. This Earth Day, Westchester goes back to its roots—its roots in the soil, that is—at events that’ll connect people with the land they live on, with nary a VW bus in sight.
One of the biggest reasons for keeping the planet in order is to ensure that there’s an equally good planet to live on for future generations. Pete Seeger puts those future generations in the spotlight at his Clearwater Generations concert, which takes place April 22 at the Tarrytown Music Hall. There, established folkies (including a few living legends) will perform with their musical kin: Pete Seeger and Tao Seeger, Peter Yarrow and Bethany Yarrow, Bernice Johnson Reagon and Toshi Reagon, and David Amram and his fam. They’ll also be joined by vets like Janis Ian, Tom Chapin, Livingston Taylor, Tom Paxton, Jay Ungar, Molly Mason, and Guy Davis.
If music doesn’t bring you back to the garden, a day on the farm certainly will. At Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, you can see the whole cycle of food production unspool in front of you, from growing veggies and raising livestock to making the delicious café meals. There’s no better day to visit than April 23, when the Center hosts its Sheep Shearing Day. There, the farm’s flock of Finn-Dorset sheep will get their summertime buzz cuts, and you and your family can ask questions of the farmers, comb and card the wool, and work a mini-loom. When that’s done, there are still plenty of farm chores to try, such as planting, collecting eggs, and feeding the animals, all while snacking on some sheep’s-milk cheese and yogurt.
If you like rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands and elbows dirty, there are plenty of opportunities for you to spruce up one of the county’s green spaces. Muscoot Farm gets an early start on April 10, when volunteers help ready the grounds for the spring and summer seasons during its Pitch In for Parks Day. If tending your patch of Earth makes you feel rewarded, you can be put to work again on April 23 at the Greenburgh Nature Center’s Earth Day Celebration, where visitors clear trails and prepare garden beds.
After all of the weeding and sweeping is taken care of, it’s time to instill your kids with a message to keep up all the good green efforts for the rest of the year. Take them to see Westco Productions’ original musical, This Garbage Isn’t Garbage. The play, which runs from April 12 to 14 at the Rochambeau Theater in White Plains, teaches kids about recycling, so they’ll be psyched to put the right materials in the right bins even after this Earth Day is a distant memory.
Looking to celebrate Earth Day outside the confines of the county? Greenhouse gases aren’t cool, so carpool to one of these nearby celebrations:
Celine Cousteau, granddaughter of the legendary Jacques Cousteau, gives a talk, titled “People and the Natural World: An Exploration of Connections” at the Quick Center for the Arts in Fairfield, Connecticut, on April 4.
The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk gives a different perspective on undersea life, showing how the aquarium staff takes care of its residents, with its Behind-the-Scenes Tour on April 16.
Hit the trails during the Stamford Museum & Nature Center’s Take-a-Hike Week, which features guided nature walks and scavenger hunts, taking place from April 19 to 21.
Look upon one of nature’s most vulnerable locales with Jeff Jones’s photos in Arctic Sanctuary: Images of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which will be on view at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut, through May 29.
The Earth Day Celebration at Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk, Connecticut, is the culmination of a week of school-vacation activities, and author Jill Dunn will close things out with a reading of her book, I Want to Go Green! But What Does That Mean?
Pictured Above: Come Earth Day, these fellows will lose their coats and you can comb the wool and work a mini-loom.