The Sit List: 5 events to celebrate the Earth and more in Berkeley

This week: Celebrate the 51st anniversary of Earth Day with a week of fun activities about green living and more.

Filmmaker Todd Darling’s documentary, “Occupy the Farm”, chronicling five months of activists occupying the Gill Tract, owned by UC Berkeley, will be shown tonight on PBS. Credit: Todd Darling

OCCUPY THE FARM On Earth Day 2012, hundreds of urban farmers marched onto the Gill Tract, owned by UC Berkeley, to stop the development of a shopping center and condo complex. They brought 16,000 seedlings and planted an acre of vegetables, set up a tent village and put up a banner that read, “Occupy the Farm.” Filmmaker Todd Darling followed these activists — who called their resistance effort Occupy 2.0 — for five months. The film documents the strategies and tactics the farmers used to fight California’s largest landowner, shedding light on the tension between overdevelopment and agriculture and the fight between the power of the people and institutions. Tonight, the film will be screened on PBS San Mateo, KPJK, for their Earth Day program. Thursday, April 22, PBS San Mateo, KPJK, from 7-9 p.m. You can also watch it online on Vimeo, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and Vudu. $4.99 on streaming platforms. 

PLANT WEEK As Earth Day has extended into Earth Week, we have so many more opportunities to celebrate the planet and everything that grows on it. Yelp is partnering with local plant-based eateries, plant shops, gardens, and nurseries for nine days of celebrating the Earth. You can learn about rare and exotic plants with the UC Botanical Garden, the basics of urban farming, how to make DIY succulent dish gardens, and tips for choosing the best houseplant for your space and lifestyle. If you love to eat what you grow, check out a class on gardening for the foodie and a workshop on making nutty dinner and desserts with Hella Nuts. Indulge in your love of green living with Plant Week. April 22-April 30. RSVP on Yelp. Free. 

CAL WEEK It’s that time of year when high school seniors choose their college of choice. Students admitted to UC Berkeley can join in on Cal Week, a special schedule of events to get to know your prospective college. Things may be a little different this year, but you can still experience the best of the campus digitally. You can sign up for a virtual visit or a guided virtual tour experience. In a full schedule of Zoom-based activities, you can learn how to fund your future, how Berkeley undergrads have changed the world, and about social justice in the community and classroom at Cal. You can listen to professors present their research and alumni share their journeys through Cal to the working world. Welcome to Cal! April 24-30. Free. 

FREDERICK DOUGLASS For The Marsh Theater, actor Darryl Van Leer will perform a powerful, one-hour, two-act play based on The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Van Leer embodies a young Douglass, who gives an account of the harrowing events of his life. In The Escape of Frederick Douglass, “the audience relives moments with Douglass and his nurturing mother and grandmother, his life with the notorious slave master Edward Covey, as well as his thrilling and suspenseful train ride to freedom,” writes The Marsh. Witness a powerful figure in history and learn how much he had to sacrifice to find freedom. Streaming. Saturday, April 24. Donations welcome.


BEAUTY & THE BEAST Earth Day is about celebrating the planet and learning how to preserve it for future generations. In this Zoom Book Talk hosted by the UC Botanical Garden, conservation photographers Rob Badger and Nita Winter will show images from their book, Beauty and the Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change. The book pairs the couple’s field photography with essays by authors like Robin Wall Kimmerer, Jose Gonzalez, Peter Raven, Mary Ellen Hannibal, Ileene Anderson, and more. The Garden writes, “Rob Badger and Nita Winter give us a spectacular view of California’s extraordinary wildflowers as both a cause for celebration and protection.” Let the beauty of California’s wildflowers fuel your mission for conservation. UC Botanical Garden. Tuesday, April 27. Free but donations to their education program are welcome.