Earth Day Shines Brightly in Beautiful Newburyport

The Parker River Wildlife Refuge in Newburyport is putting on the Ritz for Earth Day.

Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22.  Worldwide events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection.  First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day now encompasses events in more than 193 countries.

On Earth Day 2016, the landmark Paris Agreement was signed by the United States, China, and some 120 other countries.  This signing satisfied a key requirement for the entry into force of the historic draft climate protection treaty adopted by consensus of the 195 nations present at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.

Peace activist John McConnell first proposed a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace, to be celebrated on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere.

This set day, to contemplate conservation of our environment, was later sanctioned in a proclamation written by McConnell and signed by Secretary General Thant at the United Nations.  A month later a separate Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970.  Nelson was later awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom award in recognition of his work.

Here are some events the wildlife refuge has on tap.  See their website for more information.


Behind the Scenes Refuge Tour of Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Saturday, April 21st @ 9:30 a.m.; Sunday, April 22nd @ 1:00 p.m.; and Saturday, April 28th @ 9:30 a.m.

Join a refuge ranger for a behind the scenes tour of Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. Tour will be conducted via refuge van, with several brief “drive by” stops along the way. The tour will present an “up close and personal” look at the refuge through the multiple lenses of the cultural history of Plum Island and the Great Marsh, native wildlife and their habitats, and the role of refuge management in the conservation of these precious natural resources. Participants may be driven along areas on the refuge otherwise closed to the public. This guided two hour program is most appropriate for older teens and adults. Binoculars and/or a camera are recommended, but not required. Meet the ranger in the lobby of the Refuge visitor center 15 minutes prior to the program start time. Each session is limited to 14 participants; no more than 4 individuals per sign-up.  Again, this is a vehicle – based tour, with limited stops on the Refuge. Preregistration is required for this program, as enrollment is limited. Be advised that individual tours may be subject to cancellation. *Please note: Those who call and leave messages after hours, your registration is not confirmed until you receive a confirmation call from a refuge staff member. Please call (978) 465-5753; to register for this program


In Honor of Earth Day, 2018; Annual Open House

Friday, April 20th; two sessions: 1:00 p.m. & 5:30 p.m.

Spend an hour or so with Refuge Manager Bill Peterson, joined by other staff, as he provides an update of what is happening, or will be happening, at the Complex’s four national wildlife refuges (Parker River, Great Bay, Wapack, and Thacher Island). Perhaps of particular interest, learn about our exciting plans for making major improvements to the well-used and well-loved Hellcat boardwalk system. NO preregistration for this program, which will take place in the refuge’s visitor center auditorium.

Film Screening: The Sense of Wonder – Friday, April 20th; 7:00pm

The documentary-style film A Sense Of Wonder takes the form of two interviews with Rachel Carson during the last year of her life, as she battles cancer and her critics in the wake of publishing Silent Spring.

Using the author’s own writings as the basis for the film, writer and actress Kaiulani Lee provides an intimate glimpse of Carson as she is thrust into the role of controversial public figure. This film is made all the more compelling because it was filmed on location in Maine, including at the late author’s summer home. No preregistration for this program.


Live Raptor Show – Saturday, April 21st, from Noon to 1:00 p.m.

Spend an hour with Jane Kelly, and several of her live birds of prey, in the refuge auditorium, while learning about the habits and habitats of these fascinating creatures. Jane, of On the Wing Raptor Rehabilitation, will reprise the hugely popular program that she delivered as part of last year’s Earth Day celebration. No preregistration for this program.

Parker River Wildlife Refuge website


SHARE: is the property of HappyInNewburyport, LLC