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Before Earth Day, Vienna to bring out the big birds for annual Green Expo

The nonprofit Secret Garden Birds & Bees will return to Vienna’s Green Expo with live birds of prey (courtesy Town of Vienna)

With Earth Day just around the corner, the Town of Vienna is preparing for its annual celebration of all things environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Sponsored by the town’s Conservation and Sustainability Commission, the Green Expo is held on the fourth Thursday of every April. As such, this year’s event will take place at the Vienna Community Center (120 Cherry Street) from 7-9 p.m. this Thursday (April 20).

“Dozens of local exhibitors will be on hand with information on sustainable practices including energy efficiency, green landscaping and zero waste,” the town said in a press release.

Some familiar attractions include the chance to see owls, hawks and other birds of prey up close, thanks to visiting wildlife experts with the nonprofit volunteer group Secret Garden Birds and Bees.

The main addition to the schedule is a series of “Ask Me Anything” talks, starting at 7:30 p.m. with a discussion of proper recycling practices led by Fairfax County Recycling Compliance and Planning Chief Charlie Forbes and Trace: The Zero Waste Store owner Mala Persaud.

At 8 p.m., Birch Street Financial Advisors founder Joanne Burke and Citizens’ Climate Lobby Fairfax volunteer Meredith Haines are scheduled to give a presentation on tax credits and rebates that can be used for solar and energy efficiency home projects.

Finally, at 8:30 p.m., Vienna Urban Arborist Scott Diffenderfer will round out the night with a look at how to plant trees.

There will also be activities for kids and giveaways of reusable shopping bags, a home energy audit, a backyard composter, and a rain barrel.

The expo comes two days before Earth Day, which is celebrated every April 22. First recognized in 1970, Earth Day began as a way to draw attention to pollution and other environmental issues, ushering in the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and new regulations around clean water and air.

The Fairfax County Park Authority will mark the occasion with an Earth Day Festival at the Sully Historic Site (3650 Historic Sully Way). Other local events include the Mount Vernon District’s fifth annual Environmental Expo, Fairfax City’s Fairfax HisTree Day, and a Providence District celebration with tree plantings and a Blake Lane Trail cleanup.

Earth Day also coincides with the beginning of National Park Week, one of five days this year when the National Park Service will waive entrance fees to its parks.

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