Ahh, Saratoga, spring is finally in the air. It’s definitely time to get out, stretch those winter-stiff limbs and absorb a little sunshine. And what better way to do that than by celebrating Earth Day on April 22, and Earth Month, which is, well, all of April?
As expected, there’s plenty to do in Upstate for this year’s month of Earthly appreciation. “Celebrating Earth Day and Earth Month is an important opportunity to remind ourselves of our role as stewards of the planet,” says Bill Boehmke, Vice Chair of Sustainable Saratoga, a local not-for-profit that has a number of special events planned throughout April. Sustainable Saratoga promotes environmental education and sustainable practices in the Saratoga Springs area, which is rich in natural resources and a prime location for many outdoorsy activities. “One of our priorities is to provide individuals with the knowledge and tools to make our community a more sustainable place to live for current and future generations,” says Boehmke.
Speaking of which, Mother Nature is ready for her closeup. Here are six great events celebrating Earth Month in the Capital Region this year.
Where: Case Center at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs
When: Saturday, April 6, 10am-4pm
Going to the fair is always fun, and the Saratoga Sustainability Fair promises to be no exception. Sustainable Saratoga and Skidmore College have teamed up to host this inaugural fair, which will be a one-stop-shop for all things sustainability-related. Expect a total of 30 exhibitors and 19 workshops that cover a diverse range of topics and even an electric car show with five vehicles (including a Tesla!) and a test drive of a Mitsubishi Outlander. The keynote speaker will be Aaron Mair, environmentalist and the 57th National President of the Sierra Club.
Where: Wilton Wildlife Preserve and Park
When: Monday, April 22, 8:30am-12pm
Wilton’s Earth Day Celebration offers a morning of healthy, family-friendly activities. Enjoy a 5k fitness run/walk or, for those seeking a slightly shorter jaunt, a one-mile family fitness walk at Camp Saratoga North. There will also be guided pond life explorations, nature displays, arts and crafts, healthy snacks as well as the opening of the six-story Cornell Hill Fire Tower.
When: Monday, April 22 through Tuesday, April 30
This one is a “virtual” 5K and 10K, which means that from April 22-30, runners can choose their own race route in Albany and then submit their times afterward. At least 15 percent of every registration will be donated to Wild Earth Allies, which helps protect wildlife habitats across the globe. All participants will also receive a gold medal in the mail—yes please!
Where: Saratoga Springs
When: Saturday, April 27, starting at 9:30am
A free shade tree planted in your front yard sounds too good to be true, but that’s exactly what Sustainable Saratoga’s Tree Toga 9 offers to anyone with a residence in the Spa City. Started in 2014, Tree Toga 9 allows Saratogians to volunteer in a couple of creative ways, either by “hosting” a tree in their yard or by signing up to be a tree planter or tree waterer. Volunteers will meet at High Rock Park at 9:30am.
Where: Saratoga Paddlesports Shop at Fish Creek and 490 Broadway in Saratoga Springs
When: Saturday, April 27, 9am-6pm and Sunday, April 28, 10am-5pm
Though not officially an Earth Month event, Paddlefest is the single largest on-water canoe, kayak and outdoor gear and clothing sale in the Capital Region. More than 1000 boats from leading manufacturers will be on sale, many of which will be available to test paddle at Saratoga Paddlesports Shop’s Fish Creek location. Over the weekend there will also be many paddling experts giving free demonstrations and clinics to help paddlers of all skill levels improve their technique.
Where: The Parting Glass at 40 Lake Avenue in Saratoga Springs
When: Tuesday, April 30, 6:30pm
What better way to absorb talk of climate change than with a few brews? That’s what’s on the menu for this Earth Month edition of Science on Tap, a free monthly debate and interaction between scientists and residents of the Capital Region at a local pub or brewery. Made possible by Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), Sustainable Saratoga and Skidmore College, this month’s talk will be led by Dr. Mathias Vuille, professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences at the University at Albany.