Earth Day to focus on volunteer efforts

Earth Day Network and Green Apple Festival have announced their 2009 plans for “America’s Largest Earth Day Action” – simultaneous events in 10 U.S. cities over Earth Day Weekend – April 17-19 – that will this year focus on environmental volunteerism. The service events, coupled with Earth Day on the National Mall in Washington and free “Thank You Concerts” for volunteers in each city, introduce “The Green Generation,” a two-year initiative that will culminate with the 40th anniversary of Earth Day in 2010.

Over Earth Day 2009 Weekend, simultaneous Volunteer Projects will be organized in New York, Boston, Washington, Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Austin, Texas. Growing to 10 cities from last year’s eight festivals in public parks across the country attended by 200,000 attendees, Green Apple Festival and Earth Day Network aim to involve even more civic and environmentally minded Americans in a simultaneous nationwide weekend of action.

On April 19, free “Thank You Concerts” for volunteers will be held at popular music venues and, the national flagship event, “Earth Day on the National Mall” will be held in Washington.

2009 events include three components:

– Earth Day on the National Mall: A large-scale free Earth Day Festival with music, entertainment, speakers and environmental activities will take place on the National Mall in Washington DC on Sunday, April 19. More information is available at www.earthday.net.

– Volunteer actions by tens of thousands of participants in 10 cities on April 17-19, making Earth Day a time of meaningful change. Projects in parks, beaches, schools and forests, will focus on climate change solutions like tree planting, energy efficiency retrofits, water protection, urban gardens and forest restoration.

The activities address current challenges and will help cities and organizations get important work done. Suitable for individuals of all ages, including children and families, these activities encourage active lifestyles, while also connecting volunteers with green products and solutions. Participants can sign up to volunteer at greenapplefestival.com and planetgreen.com.

– “Thank You Concerts” for volunteers at popular music venues in all cities April 19. Following volunteer activities, all participants will be invited to attend a celebratory night of music and entertainment at a popular venue in their city.

With support from presenting sponsors Disneynature, Timberland, Motorola Inc. and Clear2GO, Earth Day 2009 will encourage Americans to sign up to participate in meaningful actions to give back to communities while restoring and renewing the Earth.

“The tough economic climate means that, more than ever, we have to plan a new green economy with a promising future for everyone,” said Kathleen Rogers, Earth Day Network president.