Baltimore Earth Day provides Spring Fair alternatives

By RENEE SCAVONE | April 19, 2018

Recently, when chatting about The News-Letter with a pal, they made reference to a particular feature of Your Weekend, one that I hadn’t and wouldn’t have noticed otherwise.

“You talk about drinking... a lot.”

Which is, to be blunt, kind of wack.

I make this statement both because I fear some future employer is reading this section and making a concerned face, and because it really does get my goat when folks insist that there’s nothing to do in Baltimore except for drink on the Beach.

As has been mentioned in previous articles, this is simply not the case. However, I recognize that on Spring Fair weekend in particular, it is hard to find any other activities to do.

Luckily this week is also Earth Week, which means there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the City that don’t involve stumbling down North Charles.

And you don’t have to go very far: Head to the Waverly ACE Hardware store.

As silly as it may sound, I’m a big fan of this ACE. They’ve seen me at my best (looking at paint chips for my theoretical future home) and at my worst (the multiple times I’ve had to copy my roommate’s keys after losing mine) and have been wonderfully helpful. 

They’re throwing their annual garden party on Saturday. There you can take part in a free seed starting workshop as well as a potting station and free food.

Earth Day began as a way to commemorate the founding of the modern environmentalist movement in 1970, so of course a big part of the holiday is keeping our Earth clean. 

There are almost as many clean up opportunities as there are Baltimore neighborhoods. Spend your Saturday participating in a stream clean up at the Gwynns Falls Trail, volunteer at Locust Point or collect data on urban birds (truly a rare opportunity) at the Audubon Center. Added bonus: Most of these events offer free lunch afterward.

For a more local experience, work to beautify Lake Roland with the help of local park rangers or head to the Waverly Earth Day celebration, where afterward volunteers 21+ are invited to a garden party at the Peabody Heights Brewery. 

(Not that that’s a necessity for having fun. Just giving you honest reporting.)

If you’re looking for more unique ways to help out, try urban farming at the Boone Street Farm on Saturday and get a chance to learn about the ways in which biodiversity impacts Baltimoreans.

Finally, if you’re still trying to do it FTK after last weekend’s Relay for Life, volunteer to help clean up the Patterson Park Castle Playground. 

While outdoor service can be rewarding, it’s not for everybody. Luckily there are other events to attend, including the University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s (UMBC) Earth Day Run on Sunday. Register for this 5K online or on site, and celebrate the Earth by traversing it.

Alternatively, if you’re not quite up to running a 5K but are into the idea of it, head to the 3rd week of Baltimore’s community walks right over in Hampden. The event promises a space to explore free expression and is a really easy way to get outside.

You can also check out the Herring Run Nursery Earth Day Festival on Sunday. Take a pollinator tour, make a seed ball or (for those of you into commitment) receive a free tree.

If you’re really not an outdoor person but still want to celebrate, you can attend one of many events at B.Willow in Remington this weekend. Build your own bouquet, craft a seed bomb, explore the world of mounted plants or prepare a home for a brand new succulent.

You can also head to the Dovecote Cafe in Reservoir Hill on Sunday. You can pick up produce from local farmers as well as grab some local honey or simply listen in on seminars for houseplant enthusiasts for tips on how to keep those new succulents alive. 

However you choose to celebrate Earth Day, consider it a welcome excuse to give your liver a break this weekend and head out to spend some time in Baltimore, enjoying all the great things this City has to offer. 

As for the rest of you lowlifes, I’ll see you in the Beer Garden.

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