Earth Day is an annual invitation to heighten your awareness and appreciation of the environment. Since nature is not equipped for verbal communication (with the rare exception of some species of household plants), it's our job to take care of the earth as best we can. Throughout the rest of the week, the Smithsonian is offering events that will strengthen your relationship to the environment.
Wednesday, April 22
To celebrate National Environmental Education Week and Earth Day, a docent leads a family-friendly tour exploring how artists have depicted our earth and investigating the effects of human activities on our environment. Free. American Art Museum, 4:00 PM.
On this Earth Day, learn how your everyday activities impact the quality of health for yourself and others in your community. Learn simple and economical steps to become more environmentally responsible. Invited speakers include representatives from the Sierra Club, the Ward 8 Environmental Council, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Free. To make reservations, call 202-633-4884. Anacostia Museum, 7:00 PM
Thursday, April 23
A museum staff member shares stories about some of the objects in the museum's collections and discusses the museum's work to collect, preserve, research, interpret, and present our nation's history. Today, Lemelson Center senior historian Joyce Bedi discusses the precursors that shaped the contemporary environmental movement, from 19th-century ideas about nature to the ongoing conflict between preservation and development. Question-and-answer session follows. Celebrates Earth Day. Free. American History Museum, 12:00 PM
The Smithsonian American Art Museum and Art:21 present a special series from the award-winning documentaries Art in the Twenty-First Century. Each film features behind-the-scenes conversations with contemporary artists in their studios, homes, and communities. This evening's film Ecology features Robert Adams, Mark Dion, Iigo Manglano-Ovalle, and Ursula von Rydingsvard. Free. American Art Museum, 6:00 PM
Saturday, April 25
Learn how the museum's cropland, meadow, wetland, and woodland habitats honor the Native communities of the Chesapeake. Enjoy cooking demonstrations, hands-on activities, planting traditions, storytelling, and films to discover how Native people used the resources in the local environment while showing respect for them as well. Celebrates Earth Day. Free. Repeats April 26. Native American Museum, 11:00 AM-3:00 PM
Museum astronomer Sean O'Brien and local amateur astronomers bring out their high-power telescopes and share their knowledge of the night sky. Get away from the glare of city lights and see stars you never new existed. First, hear a presentation by a Jet Propulsion Laboratory Solar System Ambassador. Then, weather permitting, witness the thousands of stars that litter the dark night sky, and with the help off high-powered optics, view nearby planets and stars up close. Free but, parking is $4 per vehicle. Event is located at Sky Meadows State Park, near Paris, VA. National Air and Space Museum, 8:00-11:00 PM