Vaccine progress indicates better days ahead; in-person classes are returning; the air is visibly cleaner, and winter failed to freeze growth in bike sales and trail use.
But Earth Day, April 22, has always offered a good pause to note long-term progress and dig below the surface. Just ask the periodical cicadas, due to reappear any moment after 17 years of silence.
Despite recent global events, Arlington remains a celebrated example of community commitment to fighting climate change, cleaning up the planet, stewarding natural resources and looking forward. Just some of the initiatives that never slowed down:
- A carbon neutral goal for the County by 2050.
- More incentives for the private sector to help meet environmental targets.
- Residents and small businesses joining the Arlington Solar and EV Charger Co-op
- More green spaces incorporated through the Biophilic City Network.
- Energy purchased from a Virginia solar power farm, set for operation next year.
- Residential food scraps collection proposed in support of the County’s Zero Waste goal.
- The in-progress Forestry and Natural Resources Plan update will serve as the guiding document for Arlington County’s management practices related to trees, plants, wildlife and more.
- Arlington was designated a Tree City USA for the 24th consecutive year and given the Growth Award for the 17th time from the Arbor Day Foundation.
- Habitat restoration is on the rise in Arlington.
Upcoming Earth-Friendly Events
Pandemic Earth Day No. 2 offers the chance to revisit community environmental efforts plus the springtime fun of seeing what lives and grows in our parks, streams, gardens and trees.
The list of Earth Day-worthy events and opportunities won’t fit just a day or week, so Arlington has revitalized its environmental calendar stretching through late May.
Consider joining the Earth Day Cleanup at Bon Air Park on April 24 or taking part in the City Nature Challenge on May 1. Kids and families will learn and have fun April 24 through May 24 with the ArlinGnomes Scavenger Hunt.
Of particular note and returning in May after a year-long absence: Bike to Work Day on May 21; followed on May 22 by a limited version of E-CARE, the established spring clean-up and drop-off event for household hazardous materials like old paint and fertilizer, plus old electronics.
If anything, the pandemic has reminded us how small and fragile our planet is and just how interconnected we are.