New York Cares Day, New York Cares Day 2012, New York Cares Day volunteering, earth day 2012, earth day activities, earth day nyc

New York Cares Day

Spend Earth Day giving back to nature, New York, and your fellow citizens. Join 5,000 other New Yorkers for the annual New York Cares Day to beautify and clean our city’s parks and get them ready for the 2012 season. You can sign up with a group of friends or co-workers, or you can join one of teams for individuals. ($20 registration fee. Sat., Apr. 21. 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

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Solar-Powered Screening of Planet Earth

Spend Saturday evening under the stars at Solar One for a special screening of Planet Earth. The uncut first episode of the breathtaking series will be shown for free at Solar One’s innovative solar-powered outdoor movie theater. Ice cream sandwiches (including vegan options) from Coolhaus and savory snacks from Mexicue will be available for purchase. The first 250 guests will get a ticket for a free screening this summer. (Free. Sat., Apr. 21 at 7 p.m. Solar One, 23rd Street and the East River.)

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Earth Day on the High Line

Earth Day marks the end of the High Line cutback and the official start of the park’s spring season. A full day of activities is planned, including performances, composting workshops, and activities for kids, but we are most looking forward to artist Allison Knowles’ “Make a Salad” event. The artist will recreate her iconic performance, and the audience will get to enjoy the tasty greens when its complete. (Free. Sun., Apr. 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. On the High Line between 15th and 16th Streets.)

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New School Sustainability Courses at Union Square Greenmarket

Take the time to learn something new at the New School’s outdoor classroom in the Union Square Greenmarket. For the month of April, the school has been offering sample-sized advanced education courses on sustainable topics like urban farming and green building. On Friday, April 20, nine different 30 minute lectures will be given by New School professors on a range of topics, including CSAs, biking in cities, and the school’s winning Solar Decathlon house. (Free. Fri., Apr. 20. 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. North End of Union Square Park.)

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Prospect Park B’Earthday

Not only is Prospect Park joining the Earth Day celebrations this weekend, but the Brooklyn park is also celebrating the tenth birthday of the Audubon Center in the park’s historic boathouse. As the first urban Audubon Center in the nation, it functions as a place of active nature discovery, with hands-on exhibits and innovative programming. This Earth Day, there will be performances, a parade, nature tours, and the opportunity to get up close and personal with a bird of prey. (Free. Sun., Apr 22. 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Prospect Park Audubon Center, enter at Lincoln Rd. and Ocean Ave.)

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First Street Green Opens First Park

Join East Village community group First Street Green as they kick off a season of cultural programming in the new First Park. What used to be a rat-infested lot, First Park held the BMW Guggenheim Lab last year, and now First Street Green has turned the space into a vibrant gathering place for the neighborhood to host events like live music and art performances. This Sunday’s bash will feature dance, sculptures, and readings. (Free. Sun., Apr. 22. 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. 33 East First Street.)

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Earth Weekend at Wave Hill

Our favorite botanical escape in the city, Wave Hill, is celebrating Ma Earth with a weekend full of special garden walks, tours, and nature-themed performances and activities. Bring the kids for Saturday’s reading of The Lorax where tots can make their own trees out of recycled materials. Take some time to yourself on Sunday for a peaceful walk through the gardens with naturalist Gabriel Willow leading a group in nature journaling. (Most Free with admission. Sat.-Sun., Apr. 21-22. See calendar for times. 675 West 252nd Street, Bronx.)

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Recycling Olympics at Get Green South Bronx Earth Fest

During the 5th annual Get Green South Bronx Fest, hundred of children will compete in the fest’s first-ever Recycling Olympics. They’ll learn about recycling by playing games like the “Sort-a-Thon” and “Great MGP (metal/glass/plastic) Toss” while exercising and working in teams. The 30-minute games will commence with a fun awards ceremony, complete with ribbons and awards. Numerous other activities and vendors will taken place throughout the day. (Free. Sat., Apr. 21. Noon to 4 p.m. St. Mary’s Park, Bronx.)

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Earth Fair at Grand Central

For two days, Vanderbilt Avenue between 42nd and 45th Streets will be taken over by dozens of eco-friendly vendors and organizations for the annual Earth Fair. Vendors range from local yoga studios to the Woodstock Animal Farm Sanctuary to statewide environmental groups. There will also be tasty food vendors, and Saturday will see half a dozen live music performances. (Free. Fri., Apr. 20 from Noon to 7 p.m. and Sat., Apr. 21 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Vanderbilt Avenue at Grand Central.)

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St. George Day Earth Festival

St. George Day is an annual festival celebrating Earth Day, the arts, and dragons, of course! Highlights this year include the opportunity to meet accomplished naturalists Leslie Day and Trudy Smoke and buy autographed copies of their book, as well as tree give-aways, and a Great Tree Walk through neighboring streets, starting at 3 p.m. and led by arborist John Kilcullen. There will also be DIY crafting workshops, art vendors, dance performances, live music, and more. (Free. Sat., Apr. 21. Noon to 8 p.m. Tompkinsville Park, Staten Island.)