Earth Day events across the region celebrate planet


Tomorrow is officially the 35th anniversary of Earth Day, but you can celebrate the day at events all weekend. Earth Day is observed by more than half a billion people around the world who want to promote a cleaner, healthier world for themselves and especially future generations. The theme of this year's celebration is "Protect Our Children and Our Future."

Earth Day festivities in the Maryland region include a weekend of crafts for children, gardening, informative lectures, food and music that celebrate the Earth, and ways to preserve its health.

If you've got an artistic flair, join other volunteers and community artists in painting the Mother Earth Mural tomorrow at Biddle Street and Brentwood Avenue. As part of the annual Urban Earth Day celebration, the event will feature crafts activities for children, a street cleanup and free lunch for all volunteers. Stop by the Earth Day information tent in the 400 block of Preston St. for free tree seedlings, seed packages and a chance to win tickets to an Orioles game.

Mural painting and activities run 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow at Biddle Street and Brentwood Avenue. Free. Call 410-243-8882 for information.

Celebrate Earth Day on the Chesapeake Bay with Dockside Express' opening of the Phillips Wharf Environmental Center Saturday on Tilghman Island. After the ribbon-cutting at 10:30 a.m., the center will offer boat rides on the bay every hour, bird watching, face painting, food and music, crab net making and nautical-theme games for children including fish printing and a bean-bag toss. Chrissy Albanese of Maryland Environmental Services will lecture on the goals of the Poplar Island Project, whose purpose is to reverse the effects of erosion on the bay's islands. Author Marci Lynn Andrews will sign copies of her book, Chesapeake Bay Crabs.

The celebration begins at 11 a.m. Saturday after the ribbon-cutting at Dockside Express, off Chicken Point Road on Tilghman Island. Fee for boat rides. Call 888-312-7847 or visit for more information.

Want to get your hands dirty? Learn about Bayscaping, native plants and ecology firsthand as the Havre de Grace Maritime Museum landscapes the museum grounds with native plants and weeds out invasive ones. Experiment with science projects, explore the museum's boat school and exhibits and attend lectures on the bay and water conservation with Lou Etgen from the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. Enjoy live music and entertainment from performer Geoff Kaufman from 3 p.m.-5 p.m.

Landscaping runs 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Havre de Grace Maritime Museum, 100 Lafayette St. $2 museum admission. Call 410-939-4800 for information.

Learn how humans and animals can live together and share the Earth's resources during a day of games and crafts at the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo. See live presentations on animals, learn about the role bats play in the environment and discover which plants attract butterflies. Kids can go on a scavenger hunt, make birdfeeders at the craft tables and take home a baby tree to plant in the back yard.

The Earth Day Celebration runs noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at the wildlife preserve and zoo, 13019 Catoctin Furnace Road in Thurmont. $7-$10 admission. Call 301-271-3180 or visit www.cwp

Sponsored by the Montgomery County Division of Solid Waste, this Earth Day celebration includes tips on environmental landscaping, waste reduction and buying recycled products. Craft-making, refreshments and an energy-efficient vehicle will be featured. Visitors can take bus tours (running every 15 minutes) to the recycling center for a presentation on recycling and to view the center's sorting machinery. The Rainscapes Program will offer workshops and demonstrations on the use of rain barrels.

This event runs 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at 850 Hungerford Drive, Rockville, on the field in front of the Montgomery County Public Schools Headquarters. Rain or shine. Free. Call 240-777-6400 or visit www.montgomerycounty for information.

For more family events, see Page 41.

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