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Editorial: Celebrate Earth Day

Get outside with your family, participate in group activities, or just walk in your favorite park.

Earth Day is April 22, observed April 19-27 and beyond. Fairfax County offers many useful and educational ways to enjoy the day. Don’t miss the chance to get outside, observe the developing spring weather, flora and fauna. Here are some of the opportunities:

Environmental Film Festival, Sunday, April 20 through Thursday, April 24, Cinema Arts Theatres: 9650-14 Main Street, Fairfax. Each day, networking will begin at 3:30 p.m. and films begin at 4 p.m. The public is welcome to join in discussion on film topics and how they relate to Fairfax County. Students throughout the County have been encouraged to submit 2-5 minute films which will be shown throughout the Festival in between feature films and will be rebroadcast on Cox Communications local Channel 74 following the Festival. Environmental nonprofit organizations like the Audubon Society, Lands and Waters, Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District will be at Cinema Arts for the daily networking sessions at 3.30 p.m.

http://www.fcrpp3.org/wp-content/uploads/green_inspirations.pdf

Cub Run RECenter for Earth Day, Saturday, April 19, 9 a.m.-noon, 4630 Stonecroft Blvd, Chantilly: "Nike Reuse-a-Shoe Program," bring old, worn-out athletic shoes to Earth Day. Nike Reuse-a-Shoe will grind them down to create a new material called Nike Grind which is used to make sports courts, turf fields, tracks and more. Activities include: planting, weeding, mulching, watershed clean-up, crafts for kids and bring questions for Master Gardeners. What to bring: water bottle, sunscreen, hat, garden gloves and bug repellent. Age: 5 - adult (ages 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult).

Springfest, April 26, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The Workhouse Arts Center, 9601 Ox Road, Lorton: pony rides, plant sales, climbing wall, bounce house, petting zoo, face painting, two shows by Billy B, Reptiles Alive!, Under The Sea. 9-11 a.m. Stream Cleanup and Tree Planting with Occoquan Regional Park. Donate toothpaste, toothbrushes, cereal and rice to Lorton Community Action.

Invasive Management Area Volunteer Program is a community-based project designed to reduce invasive plants on our parklands. This volunteer-led program gives residents an opportunity to protect plants and wildlife of Fairfax County's forests while spending time outdoors, meeting new people and restoring natural habitats. Key components of this program are habitat restoration and a long-term commitment to the park. Many workdays planned during Earth Week, April 19-26, including in Vienna, McLean, Springfield and Burke. Virginia’s Annual Invasive Plant Removal Day is May 3. To sign up, contact IMA Coordinator Erin Stockschlaeder at 703-324-8681

Fairfax County Biological Stream Monitoring: Aquatic forms of insects (called "benthic macroinvertebrates") live on the bottom of rocks and debris lying in the streambed. These small organisms play a big role in helping Fairfax County staff monitor the health of a stream. Data collected by volunteers is incorporated into a number of different water quality reports, including the Stream Protection Strategy Baseline Study. Join the hundreds of existing volunteers in collecting this important information and make a difference in the health of Fairfax County's streams! If you are interested in becoming a monitor, email the coordinator or call 703-324-1422, TTY 711.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection, April 26, Reston South Park & Ride Lot, 2531 Reston Parkway, Reston. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/trash/disphhw.htm

Electric Sunday, April 27 and May 18, I-66 Transfer Station, 4618 West Ox Road, Fairfax 22030: Fairfax County residents can recycle televisions, computers and peripheral devices — including keyboards, speakers, printers, external drives and other such materials — and unbroken fluorescent light bulbs and tubes on Electric Sundays. There is no charge for Fairfax County residents to participate in Electric Sunday; however, you may be required to show proof of residency.

Help Create A Bee-Friendly Landscape, seedling sale: The trees and shrubs in this year's seedling sale will help provide habitat for bees and add beauty to your landscape. The 2014 Shrub and Small Tree Package includes 10 seedlings for $16.95. The Tree Package includes six seedlings sold for $11.95. A full, nonrefundable payment must accompany your order by Monday, April 28. Orders may be picked up on Friday, May 2, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., or Saturday, May 3, 9 a.m.-noon. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/nvswcd/seedlingsale.htm

Mother's Day Photos

Mother’s Day is May 11, 2014, and every year at this time, we call for submissions to our Mother’s Day photo gallery. Send photos of mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, with children or without children. Please name everyone in the photo, the approximate date, describe what is happening in the photo and include your name, address, email address and phone number. (We will not print your full address or contact information.) You can upload photos and information directly to our website at www.connectionnewspapers.com/mothersday/ or email to gazette@connectionnewspapers.com