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Celebrating Earth Day

The wellness of our planet is vital to future generations.  Fortunately, a group of individuals more than 45 years back made it a mission to advocate for ecological safeguards.  The fruits of their labor later became known as Earth Day (or sometimes, Earth Week).  Let’s look at some specifics pertaining to the origins of this day.

Various people have fought to raise environmental awareness through the years.  Even so, Senator Gaylord Nelson is credited with crafting Earth Day initiatives.  In 1969, he gave a talk to a group of people in Seattle regarding the importance of identifying a day that speaks to ecological concerns.  The Associated Press carried the story, and afterwards different newspapers printed the article.

Within time, environmental protection attracted mass appeal.  Many respected news outlets wrote about the topic, and the issue eventually gained bipartisan interest.

Prominent figures, including academics and scientists, were brought in to help facilitate Earth Day plans.  A key figure, Fred Dutton, had hoped to create a detailed platform at a national level, with Nelson appointed as spokesperson.  Still, Senator Nelson opposed the proposal.  Instead, his vision of Earth Day centered on community action, with respective regions deciding the topics most pressing to them.

Nelson and his staff went on to choose April 22, 1970, as the first Earth Day observance.  Many schools and universities around the country at that time paid tribute to the day in some way.  Before long, areas outside the United States learned of the holiday, and today Earth Day is celebrated in over 190 nations.

So, what happens locally?

Well, it varies.  For example, College of the Holy Cross and The Worcester Senior Center sponsor Earth Day Clean-Ups.  Assumption College participates in Recyclemania and other proactive environmental programs, like car sharing (as a side note, the college even installed a solar roof on the library).  Clark University works to cultivate a greener campus and raise alertness concerning a sustainable future.  And, on April 22, EcoTarium will be hosting an impressive Earth Day lineup including science discovery programs and sustainable energy explorations.

Earth Day is a fitting time to better reflect upon the welfare of our planet and the contributions we can all make to help support the environment we live in.  Naturally, this may mean different things to different people, but nearly all individuals agree it is a necessary subject to have on the table.  For additional Earth Day reading, go to http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/earth-day

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