April 22 -- or next Wednesday -- is the official observation of Earth Day, but just in case you have to be at work or school or someplace else, you can get the jump on this green celebration the weekend of April 17-19. And then when April 22 finally rolls around, you'll have the satisfaction of putting in a few hours in honor of a lovely little watery orb all living things, and all things, call their primary residence.
The Green Apple Festival, in association with the Earth Day Network, has put together a bevy of volunteer events and "Thank You" concerts in cities across the nation, including this city right here. The object is clear, noble, and ultimately exceedingly easy to jump into: take some time to help make where we live (city/park/planet) a better, cleaner place to be.
In LA, there are several ways to get involved over the pre-Earth Day weekend. Walking and cleaning up trash alongside the LA River (a place everyone seems to know about in town but few people have actually strolled), building a green home in association with Habitat for Humanity, plastic water bottle collection near the pier in Santa Monica, and, possibly our favorite, the construction of indoor pelican boxes at a bird sanctuary. We're mad for pelicans, but everything on the list, from our river to our beaches to our birds to us, is needing major enthusiasm, time, and pitch-in skills from anyone who can lend a hand.
So where to head first: down to the sand or up to the park? Signing up is a cinch. April 17-19. The pelicans. Think of the pelicans.