WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- You don't have to wait until Earth Day Friday, April 22, to honor the earth. Not sure where you're needed? The following activities should help get you started; many of them take place this weekend.
Saturday, April 16
- You drive the Saw Mill all the time, now take part in its cleanup. More than 200 volunteers have already signed up for Groundwork Hudson Valley for the Great Saw Mill River Cleanup. Participants can choose to spruce up any of the eight sites along the river, from Chappaqua to Yonkers, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Details: www.groundworkhv.org/ .
- Ossining’s 6th annual Earth Day Festival goes from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Louis B. Engel Waterfront Park, 160 Westerly Road. Spend the day participating in hands-on activities, watching educational programs and enjoying live music and entertainment. The theme this year is "water." Details: www.greenossining.org/ .
Sunday, April 17
- Love Westchester parks? The Pitch in for Parks starts at 10:30 a.m. at Saxon Woods, (1800 Mamaroneck Ave.) in White Plains and continues through 2 p.m. at various locations in the county. Projects include painting, raking, preparing and planting flower beds, clearing trails, restoring wildlife habitats, and removing invasive vines from trees. Call (914) 231-4530 or go to www.friendsofwestchesterparks.com/ .
- Greenburgh Nature Center, at 99 Dromore Road in Scarsdale, is looking for volunteers to help assist in critical projects to renew the center’s preserve from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Programs include: flower planting, trail maintenance and cleanups, nature walks, cooking demonstrations, and compost and greenhouse programs. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. April 17. Call (914) 723-3470 or go to www.greenburghnaturecenter.org/ for more information.
Friday, April 22
- Get your green degree by attending a day-long symposium at Purchase College-SUNY from 9 a.m.to 5 p.m. Here, you'll learn about water and class struggle. The free event features a moderator, international scholars and open discussion at Neuberger Museum of Art Study. Go HERE for details.
- Still unsure what to do on Earth Day? Take time out from errands to pledge your sustainability goals on the Trees of Hope at White Plains' City Center 15: Cinema de Lux. Better yet, have your kids do it. Visit www.wpbid.com/ for more information.
- Feel like a drive? Celebrate the opening of a new outdoor learning and activity area at a special ceremony at noon, on the shores of Hessian Lake at Bear Mountain State Park. The exhibit which includes educational and interpretive signs, hands-on displays and activity stations, informs visitors about the trail’s origins and allows users to experience trail features such as bog bridges, turnpike, coping stones, crib walls, and step construction.
Saturday, May 7
- No experience is necessary for the day-long clean up (9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.) of the Od Croton Aqueduct trail. Volunteers will remove invasive bushes, pick up trash and learn how to identify targeted invasive species by either pruning or pulling them up. Go to www.ptny.wufoo.com/ to register.