This time of year, with the weather warming up and the azaleas and dogwoods blooming, it’s hard not to appreciate the springtime, pollen and all. But for those of you who are out and about, sandal-clad and basking in the sunshine, it’s also time to give a little back. Now is when every budding environmentalist should stand up and take part in the 32nd annual Earth Day. Someone has to watch out for our environment, and local organizations have made it fun and easy to take part in this year’s celebration. The string of events lasts for more than a week in just about every place in the Triangle. There is something for everyone, whether you volunteer at a local stream clean up or peruse the environmental exhibits at local festivals or just snag a free ice cream cone at Ben & Jerry’s.

Rocky River Festival: The Chatham County 4-H sponsors the annual celebration of the 40-mile long river, with games, crafts and exhibits on Native American archaeology and colonial life. Wed, Apr 17, 8:30 am-1 pm. NC 15-501 toward Sanford, follow signs for festival parking. (919) 542-8202. Call for details.

Earth Day Justice Jam: The concert benefits Clean Water for North Carolina and the World Cultural Center and features music by Kathleen Hannan and Fruit of Labor, in addition to performances by local poets and activists. Fri, Apr 19, 7:30 pm. World Cultural Center, 4200 Lake Ridge Dr, Raleigh. 876-7187. $6 recommended donation.

Raleigh Earth Day Festival: Frances Lacy Elementary School hosts the celebration with presentations, exhibits and hands-on activities. Fri, Apr 19, 9 am-1 pm. 1820 Ridge Rd, Raleigh. E-mail for details.

Celebration for Umstead: The annual fundraising celebration sponsored by the Umstead Coalition will feature a 4-mile run/walk with live music along the trail; performances by Clyde Edgerton, Bett Padgett, Larry Nixon, Saxafrass Quartet and more. Sat, Apr 20, 9 am-4 pm. Reedy Creek Rd at Blue Ridge Rd, Raleigh. 852-2268. Call for information. $10 Suggested donation; free for children 12 and younger.

Town of Cary Earth Day Celebration: Town of Cary hosts the celebration with exhibits and hands-on activities. Sat, Apr 20, 9 am-3 pm. Ritter Park, Cary. Visit for details.

Durham Earth Day Festival: The annual festival features music, food, storytelling and activities with local environmental groups. Sat, Apr 20, 1-6 pm. Historic Durham Athletic Park, 500 W Corporation St, Durham. 560-4185. Call for information.

Greenway Stream Clean-Up: Volunteers will meet to conduct a clean-up of the stream. Sat, Apr 20, 10 am-noon. Shepherd’s Vineyard Playground, Apex. 387-5814. Call for details.

Return to the Creek: Join the Friends of South Ellerbe Creek for the annual clean up day. Sat, Apr 20, 9 am. Meet at EK Powe Elementary School, Ninth St, Durham. 541-5723. Call for details.

Earth Music, Art and Action: 2002 Earth Day Festival: Local progressive and environmental organizations celebrate Earth Day. Sun, Apr 21, 1-7 pm. Harris Field, NCSU campus, Raleigh. E-mail for details.

Earth Day on the Brickyard: NCSU Environmental Clubs host the festival with a Trash Out, food and environmental exhibits. Mon, Apr 22, 9 am-2 pm. University Plaza, NCSU campus, Raleigh. E-mail for details.

One Sweet Whirled: Ben & Jerry’s will be giving out free ice cream cones and raising awareness about global warming. Mon, Apr 22, noon-8 pm. Franklin St, Chapel Hill; corner of Broad and Main sts, Durham.

Friends of Bolin Creek: Participate in the creation of a Bolin Creek Preserve and Nature Park. The group will meet Thu, Apr 25, 7 pm. Chapel Hill Public Library, 100 Library Dr, Chapel Hill. 967-8319.

Sanford Earth Day 2002: A community event with music, concessions and educational exhibits by the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences. Sat, Apr 27, 10 am-3 pm. Depot Park, Sanford.

Earth Day is Every Day: Sustainability in Our Area–Where is the Weakest Link: Chapel Hill High School students host an entertaining outdoor event. Tue, Apr 30, 5-8 pm. Weaver Street Market, 101 Weaver St, Carrboro. 225-0088. Call for details.