Sunday, May 26, 2024

An Earth Day Jerry’s Pond Cleanup is a tradition entering its fifth year. (Photo: Restore Jerry’s Pond via Facebook)

Earth Day is Thursday, but in Cambridge that matters less, as there are weeklong events reminding us of the need to take care of our planet, stretching from a Monday storytime to an April 25 socially distanced cleanup at Jerry’s Pond.

That event – the fifth annual Earth Day Jerry’s Pond Cleanup – runs 2:30 to 5 p.m. with a base at the Russell Field parking lot, starting with a half-hour of music, Bengali dancers and educational activities before a gathering and introduction. After an hour and a half of cleanup around the perimeter of the former neighborhood swimming hole, there will be snacks to end the day. Gloves, trash bags and tools will be provided, and while people are asked to bring their own masks, custom-sewn masks by artist Kathy Lobo will go to the first 40 people to show up.

Co-sponsor the Ocean River Institute added that there will be self-guided observation walks around the pond and kite flying – just stop by the tent on=site to pick up a kite and observation materials – and Meadowscaping for Biodiversity will lead activities to “empower youth to heal the planet.” Materials will be provided for artwork and comments.

The rain date is May 2 for this event also organized by Friends of Jerry’s Pond, Reservoir Church, Green Cambridge and Friends of the Alewife Reservation. Friends of Jerry’s Pond and Green Cambridge will hold the 5th Annual Earth Day – Jerry’s Pond Clean-up. Free parking will be available at No. 1 Alewife Center.

Watch a movie that will help you appreciate Mother Nature. Tom Meek has three to recommend here.

The nonprofit Many Helping Hands 365 is also offering a collection of free special events, service opportunities, learning programs and nature experiences for Earth Week in partnership with others. Events include lessons on how to create a nature journal; a talk on recycling in Cambridge with the city’s recycling director; and a Walk/Ride Day.A complete calendar is here.

Harvard Museums’ Earth Week

The Harvard Museums of Science & Culture have even more going on this week in free sustainability-themed virtual events and activities (in some cases, donations are encouraged) for all ages:

Earth Week Story Time from 3:30 to 4 p.m. Monday. Museums volunteer coordinator Carol Carlson will read children’s picture books exploring how living things are connected: “Carl and the Meaning of Life” by Deborah Freedman; and “Trees Make Perfect Pets,” by Paul Czajak and Cathy Gendron. It’s intended for families with young children, but “we think adults will enjoy it too,” organizers said.

After-School Animal Encounters from 3 to 3:45 p.m. Tuesday. An Earth Week edition of a regular museums feature focused on some of the challenges animals face today and what humans young and old can do to help.

Let’s Botanize! Video Screening and Q&A from 4 to 4:45 p.m. Wednesday. Harvard doctoral candidates Ben Goulet-Scott and Jacob Suissa, who host the Instagram series Let’s Botanize!, will screen their short video, “Movement without Muscles: The Sensitive Fern” and hold a Q&A afterward.

Feeding the Globe Sustainably in the 21st Century from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday. While farming is fundamental to human existence, its practice threatens biodiversity and ecosystems by displacing wildlife and disrupting critical Earth processes – even though we have improved our understanding of how these organisms function and how to manage them. National Geographic Society explorer Jerry Glover will discuss innovations to agricultural practices and opportunities to change food production models so they can meet the needs of an increasingly hungry human population without hurting the environment.

Ecology and Spirituality Roundtable from 4 to 5 p.m. Friday. Harvard Divinity School graduate students Natalia Schwien, Sakiko Isomichi, Jessica Young Chang and Quinn Parker Matos hold an informal roundtable on the intersection of ecology and spiritual practice. From providing practical ways to connect with nature in urban spaces and thinking about mindfulness in waste reduction to learning how to pause with tea, they will talk about how their belief systems engage with the natural world and how that affects their lives.