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State environmental agency encourages public to take part in Earth Day events

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 - 12:00am

Earth Day is Friday, April 22, and there are many environmental education events to mark the occasion throughout North Carolina. A wide variety of fun, family-oriented activities are planned that incorporate music, games and outdoor recreation. These opportunities are a great way to enjoy the outdoors and discover ways to care for our environment. To help you find events in your area on Earth Day and through April, the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs compiles an online calendar on their website, Events can also be searched by city and zip code. 

Trail hikes, stream clean-ups, nature tours, music and more await those who want to explore and learn about North Carolina’s diverse environment. The public can also follow and share events, environmental education news and cool nature stories on Twitter and Facebook by following and using the hashtag #NCEarthDay. Many of these Earth Day events are also part of the N.C. Science Festival, which lasts through April 24th. For more information N.C. Science Festival events near you, see

DEQ employees will be volunteering their time on Earth Day as well. The Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs is coordinating a DEQ Earth Day volunteer event on Friday, April 22. Raleigh area employees will be participating a stream clean up along a restored section of Rocky Branch that runs through N.C. State campus. Rocky Branch, a tributary of the Neuse, was once considered the most polluted stream in North Carolina. It now provides wildlife habitat, stormwater control, recreation and transportation along the Rocky Branch Greenway.

On Earth Day 2015, Department of Environmental Quality and Department of Natural and Cultural Resources employees and family members teamed up to create an artificial stream bed to improve drainage and stormwater control at Prairie Ridge Ecostation. This year DEQ employees will volunteer to do a clean-up along Rocky Branch Creek and Greenway on the N.C. State University Campus.