Each year, April 22 marks Earth Day and the anniversary celebration of the spark of the modern environmental movement in 1970. Earth Day 1970 came to fruition after founder Gaylord Nelson (then a US Senator from Wisconsin) witnessed the environmental devastation caused by the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara. On April 22, after the combined efforts of numerous organizations, 20 million Americans took the streets to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment. That first Earth Day was special for a number of reasons, but most notably for the simple fact that people put aside their differences, whether it be political or socio-economic, for a shared common concern for the environment. The first Earth Day also led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.

Today, the fight for a clean environment continues and is arguably more important than ever. Living near the beach, the bay and amongst woodlands and farmland makes environmental awareness all the more important for Eastern Shore locals. Protecting our local environment should be a priority for us every day here on the Eastern Shore, with Earth Day serving as a reminder of the efforts of all of those before us. This year, honor Earth Day by getting outside, celebrating and appreciating the past, present and future of our Earth. In honor of our local Earth Day celebration, we’ve rounded up a few local events to consider:

Salisbury Zoo: April 26; 10am-4pm

Celebrate Mother Earth at the Salisbury Zoo! The day will include environmental activities, games and demonstrations that will help raise awareness about our natural surroundings. With over 20 exhibitors, the event will be both educational and fun for all ages. You can also plan to spend your entire day at the Zoo and Salisbury Park with the Zoo Stampede 5k Run/Walk, which starts at 9am.

Assateague Island Free Admittance; April 17-25

One of the best ways to celebrate Earth Day is to simply get outside and enjoy all that our local, natural environment has to offer. In honor of Mother Earth and National Park Week, Assateague Island National Seashore will offer free admission from April 17 to April 25.

Delmarva Birding Weekend: April 24-27

Delmarva Birding weekend celebrates the spring migration of thousands of warblers, shorebirds, waterfowl and raptors with a weekend full of boat trips, paddling treks and expeditions by foot. Birders are encouraged to remind local businesses that they are here to enjoy Delmarva’s natural areas and the birds that inhabit them. Through low-impact tourism, you can help promote bird and habitat conservation while celebrating Earth Day.

Toast for the Coast: April 24, 5-8pm

The Assateague Coastal Trust and the Assateague Coast Keeper invite you to celebrate Earth Week in style by raising your glass to benefit the Assateague Coastal Trust and your local waterways at the 1st Annual Toast for the Coast event at the West O Bottle Shop and Bar. The evening will feature amazing wines from some of the Bottle Shop’s favorite producers that practice sustainable farming and winemaking techniques.

Blue Bird Trail Repairs: April 22 @ 1pm

Pocomoke River State Park needs your help restoring their Blue Bird boxes. The network of boxes are scattered throughout the park and provide food and solace for the Eastern Blue Bird and other native “cavity-nesters.” As you can imagine the boxes need to be cleaned out regularly and kept in good repair. As such, volunteers are needed to help with the initiative. We encourage you to get outdoors and do something good for Mother Earth while enjoying all that the Pocomoke River State Park has to offer. All ages are welcome.