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Natural Awakenings Fairfield Cty/Housatonic Valley, CT

Earth Day Spotlight Species: Protection Is the Focus of 2019 Campaign

Apr 02, 2019 02:30AM ● By Ronica A. O’Hara

On April 22, eco-conscious citizens will come together again in communities across the country to celebrate Earth Day and work for the planet’s healthy, sustainable future. This year, the Earth Day Network (EDN) is asking people to join its Protect Our Species campaign to raise awareness of the crucial roles that plants and animals play in the ecosystem and the current threats faced by many of them.  

The nonprofit cites that the world is facing the greatest rate of extinction in 60 million years because of human activity, including climate change, deforestation, habitat loss, trafficking and poaching, unsustainable agriculture, pollution and pesticides. But the good news, EDN says, is that the rate of extinctions can be slowed, and many of our declining, threatened and endangered species can still recover if we work together now. This will necessitate a united global movement of consumers, voters, educators, faith leaders and scientists that demands immediate action.

EDN is asking people to advocate for government policies that protect species and their habitats, and to continue to build on the worldwide efforts that embrace the value of nature. 

It is also asking people to undertake such individual actions as adopting a plant-based diet and stopping pesticide and herbicide use. More information, including teach-in toolkits and facts on threatened species, from whales to insects, can be found at

Help Fairfield and Litchfield Counties celebrate and promote progress in species sustainability efforts by participating in these local Earth Day 2019 events.



Party for the Planet at Beardsley Zoo

Celebrate Earth Day by visiting with the planet’s amazing and diverse wildlife on April 13 and 14 from noon to 3pm. Beardsley Zoo’s annual celebration features interpretive talks about many of the zoo’s conservation initiatives and provides details about how you can get involved with many Citizen Scientist programs throughout the state. 

In addition, there will be local vendors promoting organically produced products, information on companies using green practices, performances by local musicians and fun family games. Plans include a cleanup in Beardsley Park, and invasive plant removal with Beardsley Zoo’s Conservation Discovery Corps staff at the conservation pond.

For more information, visit Location: Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, 1875 Noble Ave, Bridgeport.



Community Earth Day Celebration 

The Bethel community will celebrate Earth Day by coming together from 10am to 3pm to build and support a healthy environment. The event will include local vendors, nonprofit organizations, community groups, artists, craftspeople, farmers, animals and animal lovers, and others dedicated to environmental awareness and preserving our planet. Free to the public, this family-friendly event is sponsored by the Town of Bethel, Bethel Parks & Recreation, and the First Congregational Church of Bethel.

For more information, visit or Location: Lawn of the Bethel Municipal Center, 1 School St, Bethel.


Newtown Earth Day

Newtown’s Annual Earth Day Festival takes place from 10am to 4pm at Newtown Middle School. The event is a full day of fun for the whole family, highlighting Newtown’s abundant natural resources, helping the community go green, and generating a green college scholarship for a deserving Newtown High School student.

For more information, visit Location: Newtown Middle School, 11 Queen St, Newtown. See ad, page 20. 


ArborEarth Festival at Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens

From 10am to 3pm, Stamford’s Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens will welcome the public for a fun family festival. As the original home of Dr. Frances Bartlett, “the father of arboriculture,” the Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens is a prime location to celebrate Arbor Day and Earth Day. Families will enjoy listening to music; touring the Bartlett’s gardens and greenhouse; viewing tree climbing and planting demonstrations; and visiting booths to learn about gardening, nature and conservation.

Kids will learn about backyard critters and pollinators, face painting, composting, riding in a cherry picker, and crafting. Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens members and children under 12 are free. There is a $5 fee for those ages 13 and above. Lunches will be available at the event for purchase from LaRocca’s Country Market; all the proceeds from lunch sales will go to the Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens.

Located in north Stamford, Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens is a living museum with majestic trees, gardens, wildlife, walking trails, natural habitats and landscapes. It serves as a recreational and educational resource for visitors, hosting a range of innovative classes, certificate programs in Master Gardening and Arboriculture, gardening symposiums, summer concerts, garden tours and its highly acclaimed summer nature camp and STEAM-based children’s school-day and after-school programs.

For more information, visit Location: Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens, 151 Brookdale Rd, Stamford. 

Washington Depot

Love your Mother-Earth 5K and 5 Mile

Help support the Washington Environmental Council and The Steep Rock Association by joining them for a beautiful run in the Steep Rock Preserve. Enjoy a fairly flat 5k or challenge yourself to the rolling hills of the 5-miler. Both walkers and runners are welcome. There will be post-race snacks. This is a near zero-waste event so bring your own water bottle or cup to use at the water station. 

In addition, bring gently used sneakers tied together by the laces for the event’s sneaker drive. All shoes will be donated through Woodbridge Running Company in Brookfield to the Rerun program ( Rerun sends all donated sneakers to Africa to live a second life. 

Same-day registration for the 5K and the 5-mile run/walks will take place from 7:30 to 8:45am. The individual cost to run or walk is $20. 

For more information, email [email protected] or visit Location: Steep Rock Preserve, 2 Tunnel Rd, Washington Depot.

New Canaan

Restoring Wild on Earth Day at Grace Farms

Join The Nature Conservancy and Grace Farms Foundation for their Earth Day Celebration on Grace Farms’ 80-acre preserve in New Canaan. There will be a full day of programs, activities and expert-led discussions on the importance of restoring native habitats and celebrating nature.

All-day activities will be held in the Interactive Meadows Plaza featuring native plants, children’s activities and demonstrations from Pollinator Pathway about the importance of pollinator ecosystems. From 10:30am-2:30pm, there will be open arts studio for families with Habitat and Home. Facilitated workshops for children ages 3 to 10 will celebrate the importance of restoring natural habitats and looking at how animal architects build their homes and communities. The hour-long Native Bird Walk, which starts at 10:30am, is a guided tour of Grace Farms’ walking trails, led by Master Birder Frank Mantlik. On-site registration is required for the Native Bird Walks. The Birds of Prey demonstration will be held noon-1pm and 2-3pm with Master Falconer Brian Bradley. 

Coexisting with Native Wildlife, a demonstration at 1pm on the beauty and diversity of the area’s wildlife will feature New Canaan Nature Center. The Benefits of “Restoring Wild” at 1pm is a conversation with Dave Gumbart, The Nature Conservancy’s director of land managemen. The day rounds out with Restoring Native Meadows at 3pm.

For more information, visit Location: Grace Farms, 365 Lukes Wood Rd, New Canaan.


Earth Day Power! Discovery Hike

From 1030am to 12:30pm, Trumbull Nature and Arts Center (TNAC) will celebrate Earth Day with a family program. Visitors will learn how to make s’mores in a solar oven, conduct nature experiments, do a planting craft and possibly win DENALI store giveaways.

TNAC provides children with art and nature programs, giving them the opportunity to experience enriching extracurricular activities. In our art programs, artists and various media are explored, allowing each student to display his or her natural creativity. 

For more information, call 203-452-4421, email [email protected] or visit Location: Trumbull Nature and Arts Center, 7115 Main St, Trumbull.


New Milford

Earth Day Celebration!

From 11am to 2pm, Pratt Nature Center will host their annual Earth Day Celebration at the 205-acre nature preserve. Fun and educational nature-based activities will be occurring during the whole time, for visitors of all ages. Things kick off with the Mud Pit at 11am, sponsored by Northville Volunteer Fire Department. The Dirt Dash 5K Run/Walk takes place at 12pm, followed by the Birds of Prey Presentation at 1pm. 

For more information, visit Location: Pratt Nature Center, 163 Paper Mill Rd, New Milford.



24th Annual Earth Day Celebration

Woodbury Earth Day is presented by the Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition, a Woodbury-based environmental nonprofit organization. Taking place 11am-4pm at Hollow Park in Woodbury, the free fun celebration will have earth-friendly activities for the whole family. 

The event will offer attendees live music, natural and organic foods, the ability to meet Connecticut companies who are making a difference, and more. The vendor fair includes over 130 local vendors, Main Stage entertainment, Community Stage programs, activities and demonstrations, Kids’ Activities Tent, and some of the best food trucks in Connecticut.

Experience live music and activities for the whole family. Enjoy delicious natural and organic foods and beverages. Meet local nonprofit organizations. Learn more about how to live earth-friendly.

For more information on Woodbury Earth Day, volunteer opportunities and Raffle for the River, visit Location: Hollow Park, Hollow Rd, Woodbury. See ad, page 15. 

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