Celebrate Earth Day in CT with education, films, critters and more

Look for animals and plants at the beach, at a park, or just in your backyard, then photograph and upload your observations as part of a global "bio-blitz" called City Nature Challenge, April 30 to May 3.

Look for animals and plants at the beach, at a park, or just in your backyard, then photograph and upload your observations as part of a global “bio-blitz” called City Nature Challenge, April 30 to May 3.

Maritime Aquarium / Contributed photo

Throughout the pandemic, many of us have taken to reveling in Mother Nature. We’ve taken up hiking, gardening and various outdoor activities to escape our homes. With Earth Day just around the corner on April 22, we know there’s always ways to do more to help our environment beyond recycling or picking up litter.

Take a moment to celebrate nature this year with action, with poetry and with education with these events.

Film

The Housatonic Museum of Art presents a virtual screening of “The Biggest Little Farm.” Free screening available online April 22-24. Visit housatonicmuseum.org.

Learn

Housatonic Community College’s STEAM Center of Excellence celebrates Earth Day with a series of virtual activities that focus on protecting our planet. Events for “Day of Action: Growing Gardens and Building Birdhouses” are all online and free and run through April 22. Visit housatonic.edu/EarthDay.

Hamden Land Conservation Trust will host an Earth Day presentation, “Connecticut's Indigenous Communities and their Natural World,” by Dr. Lucianne Lavin, Director of Research and Collections at the Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington on April 21 at 7 p.m. Advance registration required at hlct.org.

The Connecticut Science Center will host “Straight Talk: Nature & Nurture - Restoring Mother Earth” on April 22 at 6 p.m. The virtual discussion will tackle some of today’s hottest topics and be will led by an all-female panel of experts moderated by Meryl Mallery, vice president of Engineering at Ensign Bickford Aerospace & Defense Company. Other panel members include Dr. Joellen Russell, professor of Geosciences at the University of Arizona, Anelise Zimmer, Master of Environmental Management Candidate at Yale School of the Environment, Dr. Marian Chertow, professor at Yale School of the Environment and Leticia Colon de Mejias, president of the Green Eco Warriors. Register online at ctsciencecenter.org/visit/events.

The Gunn Memorial Library hosts Connecticut State Poet Laureate Margaret Gibson and Poet Laureate Emerita Davyne Verstandig for a virtual discussion of a recent anthology, “Waking Up to the Earth: Connecticut Poets in a Time of Global Climate Crisis,” on April 22 at 6:30 p.m. The anthology includes work by Connecticut poets who write about their relationships with the earth in a time of climate crisis. Register online at gunnlibrary.org.

Go

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is celebrating Earth Day by giving the first 50 families to enter the zoo reusable bags, filled with fun and informative ways to help the earth. The zoo will also have a virtual celebration on their Facebook and Instagram Live at 1 p.m. to celebrate Earth Day. Visit beardsleyzoo.org/party-for-the-planet.

Join the Bruce Museum’s curator of science, Dr. Daniel Ksepka, for an exclusive, behind-the-scenes virtual tour of the progress of the museum’s New Science Galleries on April 22 at 7 p.m. Register online at brucemusuem.org.

The Trumbull Nature & Arts Center will hold its Let’s Celebrate the Trees event on April 25 at 11 a.m. and 12 p.m., at 7115 Main Street. Attendees will learn about trees and their role in oxygen production and about native and non-native trees. Each family will receive one Dogwood tree plug to plant at their own homes. Register online. Visit trumbullnatureandartscenter.org.

Join others in making observations about the plants and wildlife around your neighborhood with the City Nature Challenge, running April 30 through May 3. The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is organizing the challenge locally as it aims to get residents living in metro areas to see which area can make the most natural observations.

To participate, competitors need to be 13 or older and have access to the iNaturalist website or app. Participants are encouraged to find, photograph and upload plants, bugs, birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles or any other wild, natural finds to iNaturalist. For more information, attend one of the two free online workshops held April 22 at 4 p.m. or April 28 at 7p.m. Register online at maritimeaquarium.org/citizen-science.

tinamarie.craven@hearstmediact.com