Virtual Earth Day 50th Anniversary Celebration-2020

Join Parks & Rec as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day! For the first time, we're taking our outdoor event plans to the virtual world. Explore educational activities, interactive experiences and more to reinforce our community's environmental commitment.

Earth Day Photo Contest

EarthDayPhotoContest.jpg Contest entry deadline has passed. Visit our Facebook page to find out which entries received the most 'Likes' for 1st and 2nd place and scored a $100 Lidl gift card and Virginia Aquarium passes.
View Entries & Contest Winners

Eco-friendly Trivia: Test Your Knowledge

Stay tuned for the winners announcement! The entry deadline for a chance to win Virginia Aquarium passes has come and gone but feel free to take our quizzes to test your knowledge of local trees and parks and your trash from your recyclables. Use the fun educational resources throughout this page to help you along. 

History of Earth Day

Earth Week 1970

Earth Day was actually established on April 22, 1970 by Gaylord Nelson, a former U.S. Senator from Wisconsin. Nelson came up with the idea for a national day to focus on the environment after he witnessed the ravages of a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, in 1969. 

Twenty million Americans — at the time, 10% of the total population of the United States — took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies.

Mount Trashmore: Landfill to Landmark

Hampton Roads celebrated Earth Day for the first time in 1990. We made our own history in the late 60's early 70's when the city converted a 640,000-ton pile of garbage into the nation's first landfill park. An environmental wonder, Mount Trashmore Park also features many other eco-friendly amenities. Watch this video to learn how the famous landmark came to be.

 Virtual Field Trips

Virginia Aquarium

Our friends at the Virginia Aquarium oversee many marine conservation and sustainability programs to support our sea animals and their coastal Virginia environments. Learn more

Virtual Walkthru of Virginia Aquarium

Supporting Sea Turtles


Making Mermaids


National Park Tours

Best viewed on desktop or via mobile apps where noted

Google Earth: 31 National Parks

Ranger-led National Park Tours

Virtual Yosemite National Park


Local Park Tours

Take a digital hike through our national and local parks to learn more about their native plants, environment and other natural amenities.

Kiptopeke Outdoor Exploration

Hawkwatch at Kiptopeke

Stumpy Lake Natural Area

Local Environmental Facility Tours

To date, the City of Virginia Beach has 35 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) buildings certified by the U.S. Green Building Council including the Brock Environmental Center and the Virginia Beach Convention Center. Both facilities also meet the strictest environmental standards in accordance with the Living Building Challenge™. Most, recently the Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation Administrative Building was distinguished with LEED® certification and most of the recreation centers are LEED® certified or registered. Learn about the City's Sustainable Practices, Policies, and Directives by visiting Virginia Beach Economic Development - Sustainability Initiatives.  

The Brock Environmental Center

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Brock Environmental Center is an innovative, environmentally sensitive and smart building that embraces energy and water independence while protecting the Chesapeake Bay. 

Virginia Beach Convention Center

The Virginia Beach Convention Center is the country's first LEED® Gold certified convention center.

 DIY Activities & Crafts

Animal Planter from Soda Bottles

Recycled Bird Feeder

bird feeder

Barks & Rex Coloring Pages

barks rex coloring pages

20 Sustainability Activities for Kids

Backyard Activities

54 Recycled Crafts for Kids

DIY Rain Barrel

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DIY Mini Greenhouse


Earth Day Bingo

TR/Inclusion Earth Day Social Story

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Recycled Sounds Educational Videos

 Eco-learning Resources & Tools

Environmental Education at Home

Eco-learning Apps for Kids

sustainability tips

Sustainability Tips

State of the Urban Forest Report

Park Finder App
iOS | Android

Blog: 12 Days of Earth Day

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Scoop the Poop

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Take the Scoop the Poop Pledge

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Blog: 15 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day in Quarantine

 Recycle Zone

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Local Recycling Services & Programs

Celebrate your commitment to the environment by participating in these local programs to recycle and dispose of unwanted and hazardous materials.

The Virginia Beach Public Works, Waste Management office oversees the City’s curbside waste and recycling collection program as well as the Landfill and Resource Recovery center. From Household Hazardous Waste items such as pesticides, old paint, gasoline, and motor oil to old metals and unwanted electronics- the City’s Waste Management Department provides opportunities for residents to properly dispose of a host of items that helps to Keep Virginia Beach Beautiful. Learn more by reviewing the acceptable items lists below.

The Virginia Beach Police department operates a Prescription Medication Take-Back Program, which provides a secure means for citizens to dispose of unused or expired household and personal medications. These items are then disposed of safely by environmentally friendly incineration.

 "Ed" Talks

​Join us for virtual Educational "Ed" Talks featuring local experts who share eco-centric practices you can use in your own backyard.

How in the World Do Bees Make Honey | Frank Walker

Find out how to be a good steward of the beekeeping community from Frank Walker.

Biologically Building a Healthy Garden | 'Farmer John' Wilson

Learn how to improve the quality of your yard, garden or farm without the use of harsh chemicals or synthetic materials. 'Farmer John' Wilson shares his agricultural expertise on managing compost, worm castings, cover crops, and biochar as eco-friendly alternatives you can use in your day-to-day.

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Tree & Bike Buddies Dedication

Our Commitment to an Environmentally-Responsible Event

VAGreen_logo_trademark_PMS-1500PX.pngVirginia Beach Parks & Rec recognizes that festivals and events have significant environmental impacts from the waste that is generated, the amount of materials used, transportation, and the energy and water consumed during the event. Our virtual Earth Day Celebration underscores our commitment to thoughtfully planning a green event that minimizes negative impacts on our community. We are striving to validate our commitment by meeting the requirements set forth by the Virginia Green certification program for festivals and events. Through our virtual event, we will meet these certification standards by connecting citizens with information, materials and educational resources for several local programs that allow us to conserve, protect, recycle, and sustain environmentally-responsible communities. Visit Virginia Green to learn more about the organization and the certification requirements.

Earth Day Partners

​​Earth Day 50th Anniversary Celebration is a partnersh​ip between Public Works/Waste Management and the Virginia Beach Clean Community Commission. 

Other supporters include Lynnhaven River Now, Virginia Aquarium, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, ​Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Eco Maniac, Parks & Recreation ​Foundation and the Earth Day Network. 

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