March for Science: Earth Day 2017 on the National Mall

Celebrate Earth Day in Washington DC

••• Photo © GAnay Mutlu

The March for Science in Washington DC, held on Earth Day 2017, will focus on standing up for facts and science and defending the environment for future generations. As the Trump administration is slashing funding for science related organizations, these issues could have a great impact on the health of Americans, our environment and the world. An Earth Day event is held every few years on the National Mall in Washington DC.

The large-scale public event includes participation by global policymakers, finance ministers, environment and development NGOs, industry executives and others. This year, the Earth Day Network will co-host the celebration and include a march against the changing government policies. A large crowd is expected to attend in the nation's capital. Additional marches will be organized around the country. 

Date and Time:  April 22, 2017. Speakers 10 a.m.-2 p.m. March to Capitol begins at 2 p.m.

Washington Monument Grounds (15th Street NW) and the National Mall. See a map of the National Mall. The best way to get around the city is to use public transportation. The closest Metro Stations are Smithsonian, Archives and L' Enfant Plaza. For suggestions of places to park, see a guide to parking near the National Mall.


  • Anousheh Ansari – Co-Founder and CEO of Prodea Systems, the first female civilian astronaut, international Space Ambassador, serial entrepreneur and philanthropist
  • Jamie Rappaport Clark – President and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife
  • Christiana Figueres – Former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) known for her leadership on the Paris Climate Agreement
  •  Mona Hanna-Attisha – Director of Hurley’s Pediatric Residency Program, known for her role in revealing the Flint Water Crisis
  • Denis Hayes – President of the Bullitt Foundation, Board Chair Emeritus of Earth Day Network and organizer of the first Earth Day in 1970
  • Rush Holt – CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • Rachel Kyte – Special representative of UN Secretary General and CEO of Sustainable Energy for All
  • Maya Lin –Artist, designer, sculptor known for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  • Albert Yu-Min Lin– Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer, Planet3, Nat Geo Explorer and a UC San Diego research scientist in technology enabled exploration
  • Michael Mann – Distinguished Professor and Director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State
  • Leland Melvin ¬– Astronaut and S.T.E.A.M. explorer
  • Mark Tercek – President and CEO of the Nature Conservancy

 Tips for Attending

  • Arrive early.  This is an event which will likely attract a large crowd.  Plan your day accordingly and be patient. During large events on the National Mall, the National Park Service sets up Jumbotrons to expand visibility for attendees. Enjoy the spirit of the event, but realize that you may have limited visibility. See also, 10 Things to Know About the Mall in Washington DC.
  • Be prepared for security screening. Prohibited items at the concert include alcohol, bicycles, explosives/fireworks, glass containers, coolers, animals (except service animals), weapons, and more.
  • Bring your own food and water. While there will be plenty of vendors to purchase necessities from, there will likely be long lines. If you bring your own lunch and snacks, you will save money and the hassle of crowded venues.
  • Enjoy the spirit of the day!  Take action and rally for improvements to the environment.
  • Please note that the FREE National Math Festival will be held at the Washington Convention Center on the same day.  Plan your travel accordingly and perhaps attend both events. 

Washington DC Hotels and Accommodations

Visiting from out of town? Here are some resources to help you find overnight accommodations.

Past Earth Day Rallies in Washington DC

The 2015 Earth Day event was a joint project with the Global Poverty Project to rally for the climate movement and to end extreme poverty. A free concert headlined No Doubt, Usher, Fall Out Boy, Mary J Blige, Train, and My Morning Jacket and was hosted by Will.I.Am and Soledad O'Brien. 

The 2012 Earth Day event on the National Mall was a major day - long event to rally to "Mobilize The Earth and demand a sustainable future." The event, sponsored by Earth Day Network, featured music, entertainment, celebrity speakers and environmental activities. Headlining performers included legendary rock group Cheap Trick, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Dave Mason, pop-rock bands Kicking Daisies and The Explorers Club. Speakers will include EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Atlanta Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli, Indy Car driver Leilani Münter, members of Congress including Reps. John Dingell and Edward Markey.

A Billion Acts of Green®

A Billion Acts of Green, a global referendum on the environment, demonstrates the breadth of support for strong, coordinated action to address the world’s most pressing environmental issues, such as climate change. A Billion Acts of Green is the world’s largest environmental service campaign and has inspired over 940 million environmental actions from individuals, businesses, governments and civic organizations.

See more Earth Day events and projects around the Washington, DC region