Psychedelic rock band The Flaming Lips is headlining a free Earth Day concert on the National Mall this weekend, and Chevy Chase is scheduled to help thank thousands who volunteered to improve parks and schools in 10 major cities.
Organizers announced Tuesday that the bands moe and Los Lobos also will perform in Washington on Sunday afternoon, along with DJ Spooky and the Howard University Drummers. Speakers will include conservation filmmaker Philippe Cousteau, who is the grandson of explorer and scientist Jacques-Yves Cousteau, actor Matthew Modine and Steve Thomas from TV's "This Old House."
The events are being coordinated by the Green Apple Festival and Earth Day Network, which grew out of the original Earth Day in 1970.
Peter Shapiro, executive producer of the Green Apple Festival, said thousands of volunteers already have signed up for various projects. He says the flagship event in D.C. will be an upbeat, eclectic event.
"That's what we really need," Shapiro said. "Because if you think too much about this stuff, it will get you down, the (environmental) challenges that we face."
Volunteers are being recruited online to tackle some of those problems this weekend through service projects.
In Washington and suburban Maryland, volunteers will build homes with Habitat for Humanity, clean up the polluted Anacostia River and care for native plants in neglected parks. Volunteers in San Francisco will help clean up a beaches and improve facilities for a bird rescue group.
Volunteers are asked to sign up on Green Apple's Web site.
Earth Day is celebrated worldwide every April 22, but the service projects begin the weekend before. Organizers are planning an even larger series of events in 2010 under the theme "Green Generation" to mark Earth Day's 40th anniversary with a focus on renewable energy and green jobs.