Long Island is home to hundreds of acres of state parks and preserves budding with plant and animal life, making it a great place to appreciate and explore nature for the 44th anniversary of Earth Day on Tuesday and beyond.

Nature lovers can help the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and The Nature Conservancy celebrate by taking a #NatureSelfie and posting it to the “Earth Day NatureSelfies” Flickr page, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to contribute to the #NatureSelfie photo project.

There are also many remarkable environmental groups offering informative environmental fun across the island. Here are our picks:

Earth Ranger Hike: A short hike around the Carlls River watershed, led by the Earth Rangers of Martin Luther King Elementary School and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Regional Director, Peter A. Scully. Martin Luther King Elementary School, 792 Mount Ave., Wyandanch. Free. April 22, 3:15 p.m. dec.ny.gov

Organic Appetizing Cook-off: One hundred percent of the day’s profits go directly to Residents for a more Beautiful Port Washington. Wit and Whim, 6 Carlton Ave., Port Washington. Free. April 22, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. wit-and-whim.com

Our Changing World: Learn how to aid in the conservation of endangered plant and animal species. Long Island Children’s Museum, 11 Davis Ave., Garden City. Free with Museum Admission. April 22, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. licm.org


Earth Day New York: Includes kids’ activities, green vehicle runway show and exhibition, green travel exhibits, environmental exhibits and product samples, and an after-work concert (3 p.m. – 7 p.m.). Union Square Park, 201 Park Ave. S., New York. Free. April 22, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. earthdayny.org

Earth Day at APEC – A Celebration of Nature: Children ages 8-12 are invited to learn about a day in the life of an animal caretaker. Alley Pond Environmental Center, 228-06 Northern Blvd., Douglaston. $15 members, $21 public. April 22, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. alleypond.com

Earth Day Celebration: Decorate a pot to take home and participate in some gardening. Quogue Library, 90 Main St., Quogue. Registration required. April 22, 3:30 p.m. quoguelibrary.org

Earth Day Craft: Kids in grades K-2 are welcome to participate in a special Earth Day story and craft activity. Huntington Library, 338 Main St., Huntington. Registration required. April 22, 4:30 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. thehuntingtonlibrary.org

Earth Day Film – Young Voices on Climate Change: Showing seven short movies covering climate change, environment-friendly solutions, and kids who are making a difference (45 min.) Garvies Point Museum and Preserve, 50 Barry Dr., Glen Cove. Adults – $3, Children – $2. April 22, 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m. garviespointmuseum.com

Tiny Tots, Nature Discoveries: Kids ages 3-5 are invited to join their parents in exploring the natural world through nature walks, arts and crafts, and animal interactions. Seeds: Theadore Roosevelt Nature Center, Jones Beach State Park. April 22, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Planting Time: Connetquot River State Park Preserve. April 22, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. & 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Registration required. Adults – $4, Children – $3. nysparks.com

Earth Day Celebration: Attractions include: live animal demonstrations, nature games, arts and crafts, guided nature walks, and musical performances. Downs Farm Preserve, South side of Route 25, between villages of Cutchogue and Mattituck. Free. April 26, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. groupfortheeastend.org

Earth Day Celebration: Take part in guided nature walks, animal presentations, crafts, environmental exhibitors, and kayaking and canoeing on Old Ice Pond. Quogue Wildlife Refuge, 3 Old Country Rd., Quogue. Free. April 26, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. quoguewildliferefuge.org

Annual Town of Islip Earth Day Celebration: Includes live musical performances, animal exhibits, and educational workshops. Gillette Ave., Sayville. Free. April 26 (rain date: April 27) 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. townofislip-ny.gov

Spring Festival: Activities involve: Kid’s fishing, a petting zoo, a castle bouncer, games, environmental exhibitors, food, and live animal interactions. Where: Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery and Aquarium, 1660 Route 25A, Cold Spring Harbor. Adults – $6, Children/Seniors – $4, Members free. April 26 (rain date: May 3) 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. cshfha.org

Earth Day Celebration: Children in grades K-2 are invited to learn about whales and dolphins and create a piece of recycled art, a bottle-nose dolphin planter. Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium, 180 Little Neck Rd., Centerport. $30 (members receive discount). April 27, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. vanderbiltmuseum.org


Hofstra University Transfer

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Timothy Bolger is the Managing Editor for the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.