#1Thing: Spring Events + Festivals That Support Sustainability in NYC

March 2, 2020
Spring in NYC

(Photo: art2002/Getty Images)

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By Lori Melton

After a cold, blustery winter, Springtime in New York ushers in nature’s reawakening in the lush parks and beautiful green spaces that city dwellers and visitors can enjoy. There’s no better time to get out and celebrate the Earth than during this blooming, colorful season.

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22.  If you’re looking for ways to celebrate Spring, the Earth, or this important environmental milestone, check out some of these New York-based festivals and events that support sustainability in the months ahead.

The Orchid Show: Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope
New York Botanical Garden
Feb. 15 – April 19

Planting gardens and trees is a beautiful way to support sustainability. People from all over the world visit the New York Botanical Garden every year, and the annual Orchid Show is a fabulous way to celebrate Spring’s arrival. This year acclaimed floral designer Jeff Leatham will put his breathtaking stamp on the show and present a dazzling kaleidoscope of color throughout the conservatory.

NYBG is located at 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10458 (718-817-8700). Get ticket information here.

Spring Sustainability Series 2020
Sierra Club New York City
Feb. 12 – June 10

The Sierra Club in New York City was founded by iconic conservationist John Muir in 1892. Today, the organization is “the nation's largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization.” The Sierra Club aims to protect the Earth and help educate people on how to do the same.

The Spring Sustainability Series 2020 features an array of speakers who will discuss a variety of environmental topics including “Voices for Climate Crisis Solutions” (Feb. 12), “Regenerative Agriculture” (March 11), “Protecting NYC Waterways and Earth Day Initiatives” (April 14), and “Why Nuclear Power is Not the Answer to the Climate Crisis” (May 13), and more.

Series events will take place on the second floor of the Seafarers and International House, 123 East 15th Street, NE Corner of Irving Place. Programs run from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Macy’s Flower Show
New York City
March 2020

Macy’s flagship Herald Square location in Manhattan has been ringing in Spring and attracting millions of guests with a spectacular storewide display of thousands of floral arrangements and plants for over 70 years. Visitors can view a stunning collection of blooms at the Macy’s Flower Show that adorns the expansive spaces including countertops, columns, windows, and more.

The annual two-week themed exhibition usual takes place in late March to early April, with the 2020 date still TBD. In addition to taking in the beautiful flora, Macy’s Flower shows offer fun activities like guided tours, kid’s games, floral bouquet-making workshops, face painting and more.

Macy’s Herald Square is located at 151 W. 34th Street, New York, NY 10001. The event is free and runs during store hours.

Earth Day 50 – Earth Week New York 2020
Kickoff Event on April 19 at Union Square
E. 17th and Broadway

Earth Day Initiative holds a yearly outdoor event that takes place in New York City for the week surrounding Earth Day on April 22. This year marks the milestone 50th anniversary of the environmental-focused day, which people can honor all over the world. The 2020 kickoff event will feature speakers, performers, and activities taking place at Union Square. Throughout the week, the fun-filled eco-friendly public forum will host dozens of exhibitions, green businesses, sustainable nonprofits, kids’ activities, and so much more.

On April 21, guests can visit notable green sites throughout the city in a fun and informative Earth Day 5K Green Tour which winds through Chelsea and West Village. Sites include a rooftop farm, a zero-waste office, a river ecology lab on the Hudson River and more. This is a ticketed event. Get more information here and stay tuned to the Earth Day Initiative – Earth Week website for scheduling and more information as it becomes available.

The ARTS X SDGS Festival
Millennium Hilton New York at One UN Plaza
April 15 – April 21

This brand-new art-focused environmental festival will feature artists and storytellers who create works that promote environmental and social for good initiatives including “gender equality, climate change, sustainable production and consumption, health, education, peace and justice and more.”

Creative mediums include music, films, spoken word poetry, visual arts and more that support the 17 Sustainability Goals including Zero Hunger, No Poverty, Affordable and Clean Energy, Sustainable Cities and Communities, and Climate Action. Artists and attendees can visit the festival’s Facebook page for submission instructions and further event details.