Earth Day Lancaster
Earth Day is growing more and more popular since its birth on April 22, 1970. Environmental groups have sought to make Earth Day into a day of action; a day that changes human behavior. However, these groups aren't the only one's who are encouraged to participate.
Earth Day is a wonderful chance for everybody to collectively promote a healthy way of life. It's an amazing time to volunteer. Communities from around the globe come together to clean up their local environments.
It's also a time to take action in the classroom. Administrations use this opportunity to participate in Earth Day activities including arts and crafts and boosting environmental awareness among our younger generations. Schools are a place of learning, and this poses as a great way to instill environmentally friendly habits in our children.
Earth Day is a time for the world to celebrate gains it has made, and create new visions to accelerate environmental progress. It's a time for our communities to unite around new actions. Earth Day is a time to remind us all to help protect our planet.
Local Earth Day Events
In previous years Earth Day has been very special around our local area. For example; in 2002 The Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority provided a display and information about recycling at the Franklin and Marshall College Environment Fair. The Conestoga Valley school district also hosted an agricultural education station for students at the Rohrer Farm. Lastly, the city of Lancaster's Environmental Health and Protection Unit participated in the Charity Fair located at the Park City Center.
A more profound example was seen in 2006. People across Pennsylvania took part in an event called "Let's Pick it up PA." The project brought people together to clean up roadsides, streams, parks, forests, and neighborhoods, to improve life for Pennsylvania's people and wildlife. After the cleanups were complete, teams shared their results on a website and with the local media. This Earth Day event was inspiring to see how modern technology was used to clean up the earth.
- This year Earth Day is bigger than ever. Millersville University held an Earth Day festival on Saturday, April 12 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the University quad. The festival was presented by the Conestoga Environmental Club. The Conestoga Environmental Club promotes ecological and environmental education with a specific focus on the Bush Woodland area owned by Millersville University. The Conestoga Club supports enjoying the environment through hiking, canoeing, camping, and other outdoor recreation following the leave no trace principles. The event featured live bands, crafts, educational information stands, and more. All of the donations made were given to the Lancaster Farmland Trust.
- The Mount Hope Estate and Winery is holding the Great Green America Fest on May 3rd and 4th from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Discover what you can do during the family oriented weekend festival filled with timely and relevant workshops, displays, and films all spread out on the 32-acre estate. Listen to music and watch dance that celebrates the advances and steps toward a greener earth. The festival will include disposable products that not only come from earth's sustainable resources, but gently return because they're compostable and biodegradable at all of their food booths to serve the food on. An array of healthy menu offerings featuring selections that are organic, vegan-friendly, or all-natural will be available.
Along with the Great Green America Fest, the Estate and Winery will be hosting Green & Growing - A Green Field Trip. This will be held on May 2, 2008 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It's a full day of interactive and fun learning about our environment and how to preserve it. Throughout their day, in addition to interacting with green exhibits including air, water and land ecology exhibits, science competitions, wildlife displays and more, students will learn about many aspects of being green, going green and the importance of thinking green while enjoying the scheduled events on 10 stages throughout the site.
Local schools will also be participating in the Great Green American Fest and Green & Growing. Kullizion, a talented group of Carlisle, PA High School freshman, makes a return visit this year to GGAF. The group formed in the spring of 2006, performing a special piece-"Funky Buckets"-on five gallon buckets and metal pails in their school's spring concert. Kullizion has gained special attention from top Pennsylvania politicians, playing for Governor Ed Rendell's Inauguration Celebration in March of 2007 and PA Department of Environmental Protection Secretary McGinty.
York College of Pennsylvania will be featuring science experiments for kids to try out onsite, and Franklin and Marshall will be displaying their 2008 science fair eco-winners.
Other events include an eco-pledge banner for students to sign and send to Governor Rendell. The Hershey Zoo is bringing Pennsylvania critters for students to meet. There will be a Green Jobs Panel displaying and discussing types of eco-jobs that students can aspire to. Various mascots from eco-agencies will be frolicking about, and World Dance of Lancaster, Zita Angelo, will be sharing her love of international folk dance in the belief that it promotes wholesome social interaction, provides intellectual stimulation including appreciation of many cultures and styles of music, and is such an enjoyable way to exercise that one looks forward to participating. No previous dance experience is necessary, just a willingness to learn and have fun!
- On Saturday, April 19th the Quarryville Library will be hosting a BIG Earth Day event and would like to invite interested businesses or organizations to participate in educating the community about eco-friendly options. This is an all day event scheduled during our operating hours of 10:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. and will be open to all ages. Jack Hubley will be performing at 10:30 a.m. and then again at 2:30 p.m., and throughout the day there will be tables/booths set up for businesses and earth friendly activities/crafts for kids. As part of this event we would like to provide businesses with the opportunity to share information about what they do and how it benefits society, the environment, and/or our economy.
- There are also many parks located around South Central Pennsylvania that will be participating in Earth Day events. On April 17, 2008 R.B. Winter Park will be holding a Student's Environmental Service Day from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Teachers are welcome to celebrate Earth and Arbor Day with their class by getting involved in some environmentally friendly projects at the park. Public, private, and home-schooled students are encouraged to attend. Planned projects include shrub and tree planting, mulching trails, and park cleanup activities. A brief program will kick off the event followed by the projects.
- On April 19, Greenwood Furnace Park will be holding their Annual Spring Clean-Up Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Spring Clean-Up Day is an excellent way to give something back to the park by lending a hand in getting them ready for the summer. Volunteers will be asked to work on small and large clean-up projects and will be assigned to projects based on their skills, abilities, and desires. Participants should bring work gloves, and if possible, tools such as rakes and shovels that may be in short supply. Lunch is provided, and Boy and Girl Scouts can earn community service time by participating in the event.
- Also, on April 19, Tuscarora State Park will be holding Earth Day Clean Up at 9 a.m. This event is a great opportunity to gather the family and join the park for their annual spring clean up to do our part to help the environment. There will be something for everyone. All tools and supplies will be provided. In case of bad weather, the rain date will be April 20.
2008 National Events
- Earth Day New York has several exciting Earth Day events this year. EarthFair at Grand Central Terminal held on April 18, from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. and April 19, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. is a two day festival full of music, education, and fun. Vanderbilt Avenue comes to life during EarthFair with more than 60 environmental companies, non-profit organizations, and Earth Day New York sponsors, to entertain and inform children and adults.
Many of our exhibitors organize hands-on activities for children, provide products samples, and allow visitors the opportunity to sign up as volunteers, sign petitions, and learn about environmentalism in New York and beyond. Come by to try organic food and drink samples, participate in mini Yoga lessons, experience a climbing wall on the side of a school bus, and much more!
- EarthNight will be held on April 22nd from 6 p.m-10 p.m. Earth Day New York and Green Drinks will co-host a special social networking party and eco-fashion show at The Park in honor of Earth Day. EarthNight is designed to bring New Yorkers together to celebrate Earth Day and strengthen ties within the City's environmental community in a fun and informal setting.
- The 15th annual EarthFest will be on Sunday, April 20, 2008 from 12 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. This event is held in Pelham Bay Park and is the largest Earth Day related celebration in the Bronx. EarthFest brings together environmental organizations, preservationists, advocates, and volunteers from around the region on the grounds of the largest park in New York City.
This year's EarthFest theme is "It Starts With You", and will focus on encouraging the public to learn to take responsibility for their actions as they relate to the environment. The environment being their home, their neighborhood, their workplace, and places they visit during their travels.
The day will start off with park clean ups, plantings led by our Rangers, and continue through the afternoon with educational and engaging exhibitions, family activities, and entertainment along with organizations associated with environmental concerns that will be interacting with the Bronx community and our park goers during the afternoon.
- Join “Muse on Earth” Art Party at Creative Pier in New York on Tuesday, April 22 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Bring your friends and make new ones as you take part in Creative Pier’s many art activities in honor of Mother Earth, such as:
- Build and paint your very own bird house for a lucky feathered friend
- Let loose in the group Action Painting of the Living Canvas
- Take a walk in the Meditation Labyrinth
- Discover what may grow in the Magic Garden
- … and much more!
Light refreshments such as beer, wine and soda, light snacks such as nuts, chips and dip, and great music will be served up throughout the evening. The cost for the day will be $15.00 per person.
Founded in 2007 by Routa Segal, Creative Pier (www.creativepier.com) and its team of creative arts therapists offer workshops in artistic expression – theater, music and dance – to assist individuals in the “self-discovery” of their thoughts and feelings in order to improve physical, mental and emotional well-being. In addition to hosting weekly events, Creative Pier also has “resident artists” who both exhibit and sell their work at the Creative Pier Art Gallery.
- The Arts for Humanity EpiCenter, in Boston is holding the 3rd Greatest Party on Earth from 8p.m. to 1 a.m. on April 12. Celebrate Earth Day and support Artists for Humanity with nonstop drummers, dancers, music, and fabulous food and drink.
- Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis Maryland will be holding a family oriented educational event celebrating the diverse environments of the Chesapeake region and the human impact on the environment. The event is scheduled for April 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Exhibits about protecting and preserving our natural world, nature oriented programming for the whole family in addition to hands on children's activities will be available. Great Music and Food as well! Free entry to the park on the day of the event!
On Tuesday, April 22, 2008, from 10a.m. to 5p.m., The Wilshire Center Business Improvement Corp., in Los Angeles, California will host a festival with 100 exhibit booths and three stages. The three stages will consist of a main stage with music and speakers; an environmental stage with demos by exhibitors; and a children’s stage with programs by and for children. They see the exhibit booths as a key educational/outreach component for Earth Day that give people a chance to obtain information to help them adopt a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
The “Car Free Day” is a concept they will use on April 22nd to encourage workers and others to use public transportation, bike and walk - an exception would be carpools, electric and hybrid cars. April 22nd will also mark the kickoff of the Wilshire Center Cool District Program, 2% Solution Climate Reduction Pledge. This pledge sets the goal of reducing the Wilshire Center district’s global warming carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2% a year for each of the next 40 years.
- Rescued exotic wildlife, a jungle princess, celebrity guests and incredible environmental experts will welcome thousands of families to the biggest and best Earth Day for kids in Los Angeles on Sunday, April 27 from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the STAR ECO Station. Los Angeles Children’s Earth Day 2008 features games, crafts, activities, healthy cuisine and live entertainment designed to inspire children to help protect the planet. Bringing together various green organizations, government agencies, museums, schools and individuals, this tropical outdoor extravaganza is designed to show the families of Southern California that they are a vital part of a larger, worldwide environmental effort. Attendance at Los Angeles Children’s Earth Day is expected to number well into the thousands.
- LEARN! At Los Angeles Children’s Earth Day, kids and parents can meet real environmental heroes, talk to conservationists and discover the benefits of sustainable living! STAR ECO Station proudly welcomes our environmental partners such as Heal the Bay, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association (NOAA), Santa Monica Baykeeper, Surfrider Foundation and Waterkeeper Alliance who will provide fun activities that teach visitors about sustainable natural resources.
- PLAY! Cool activities are sure to keep kids of all ages entertained all day long, with crafts such as recycled paper making, face painting and storytelling, plus hands-on encounters with the rescued exotic animals of STAR ECO Station. Kids will also have a blast playing games and entering contests that heighten their eco-awareness. There will be dance, music and theatrical performances from STAR Education students as well as live celebrity appearances.
- SHOP! “Green” vendors offer unique eco-shopping opportunities for visitors with an eye for worldly wares, including natural foods, holistic health, clothing, jewelry, organic gardening information, alternative energy vehicles, recycling booths, ecotourism and more.
- EAT! Enjoy gourmet cuisine, natural and organic foods and more, with an emphasis on earth-friendly meals!
- San Diego’s EarthFair will be held on April 20, from 10 a.m to 5 p.m in Balboa Park. Admission is absolutely free. There's art made from recycled materials and depicting San Diego's endangered spaces; vegetarian food; and goods and services sold by
nonprofit organizations to support their operations.
- In the Children's Activity Area, there will be crafts, games, face
painting, storytelling, and hands-on activities. This year, participants
will learn to make paper, find out about recycling, make gift cards from
recycled materials and learn how to visit wild areas without disturbing
the environment. The Children's Stage will feature youth-oriented
performances throughout the day.
- There's also a Children's Earth Parade, live entertainment on all five stages and a car show showcasing clean vehicles.
- Organizers and sponsors urge visitors to take the green way to the
event: Ride a bike, there's free guarded bike parking; take a trolley to
a stop that's about a 10-minute walk from the park; or take the free
shuttle service from the trolley stop close to the corner of Russ and
- There will be lots of green living activities and information for both adults and families at the Green Earth Fair, in Westport, Connecticut, on Saturday April 26, from 11 a.m to 4 p.m, and Sunday April 27, 12 p.m - 4 p.m. Admission is $5.00 per person.
Environmental speaker topics include energy conservation, green energy, green transportation, recycling, organic products, clean water, local wildlife, habitat protection, and more.
Visit with birds of prey, reptiles and amphibians in the Ecolab and see an exhibit of art made from recycled materials.
In the exhibitor tent, booths will be selling organic clothing and green beauty products and cleaning supplies. Others will provide information on topics from organic lawn care to energy conservation to environmental legislation.
In the water resources tent, visitors can have a hands-on experience with crabs, sea stars and other local creatures in a marine touch tank and learn about local stream monitoring programs and oyster farms in Long Island Sound.
Children will have a slew of activities to choose from, including making instruments and art from recycled materials, playing recycling games and having their faces painted.
Examine some alternative energy vehicles up close and learn ways to save gas and reduce your driving. View the many resident animals at Earthplace, explore the hands-on nature activities in the museum and walk the trails.
- United States events, produced by Green Apple Festival, will include A-list musicians and actors, environmental and community leaders, and dozens of exhibits. These special events are the place to be on April 20, right before Earth Day. In Washington DC participants will be rocking out with Jordin Sparks, The Roots, O.A.R., Toots and the Maytals, and Warren Haynes. Speakers scheduled to appear are Ed Norton, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Rep. Ed Markey, Rep. Jane Harman, Tom Friedman, Russell Simmons and many more. The Call for Climate will go out to the U.S. Congress on Earth Day, April 22 and in hopes to generate 1-million phone calls to lawmakers. Mark your calendar and check this space for frequent updates!
Some Tips on How to Celebrate Earth Day
- Plant trees! As the date also roughly coincides with U.S. Arbor Day, over time Earth Day has taken on the role of tree-planting. Planting trees helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, clean pollution, secure soil in place to prevent erosion, and provide homes for a lot of biodiversity.
- Make nature crafts at school or home. Get together with your family and build a birdhouse or make a birdfeeder to encourage the local bird population, which plays an important role in every ecosystem. Use objects that would've otherwise been thrown away to create beautiful works of art. Here, the possibilities are endless.
- Learn more about the environment. Earth Day is a good time to make a commitment to learning more about the environment and how you can help to protect it. Borrow some library books and read up on an issue such as pollution, endangered species, water shortages, recycling, and climate change. Or, learn about a region you've never considered before, like the Arctic, the deserts, or the rainforests. Think about the issues that concern you the most and if you haven't done so already, you can join a local group that undertakes activities to help protect the environment in your area.
- Rid litter from our roadways. Many groups use the weekend of Earth Day to clear roadways, highways and neighborhood streets of litter that has accumulated since the last clean-up day. Many companies donate gloves and bags for clean-up groups and villages organize bag pick ups. Once the group has collected the trash and placed the recycled bags along the road, get the village public works department to pick the bags up. It's a wonderful community project. Great for scout troops, rotary clubs and the like.
- Wear green and/or brown. Dress in environmental colors for the day; think "tree"! Wear badges if you have them, and just show your Earth Day support!
Benefits of Being Involved in Earth Day
- Earth Day provides a united time for communities, schools, families, and even the world to come together and help protect and clean up our planet. It is a time for us to think in terms of our way of life, our aspirations, and our philanthropy; an opportunity to do something.
- How would being involved in Earth Day help an average family? Well, if you practice saving water, using less energy, and recycling, you wouldn't only be helping the environment, but you'd also be helping you pocket. Just by doing these small things, you could save a lot of money.
- Being involved in Earth Day is also a great way to socialize. The events held throughout the world help bring societies together for a great cause. It allows people from the same areas to congregate and learn about their community and each other.
- Earth Day is also a great way to get children learning about and involved in issues that they will be facing as they grow older. The destruction of the environment is never going to stop, but we can help raise awareness in our children, so that they will understand what they can do to help protect the planet in years to come. Earth Day also provides a time for children to get up off the couch, step away from the video games, and go outside to enjoy the environment.
- Earth Day also provides personal gratification for those who participate. We all feel great after we do something good for something or someone else, and that's no different with participating in Earth Day!
The idea for Earth Day evolved over a period of seven years starting in 1962. For several years, it had been troubling U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson that the state of the environment was simply a non-issue in the politics of the country (Envirolink, 2008). Finally, in November of 1962, Nelson thought of an idea to persuade President Kennedy to give visibility to this issue by going on a national conservation tour. Senator Nelson flew to Washington to discuss the proposal with Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who liked the idea, and consequently so did the president (Envirolink, 2008).
President Kennedy began his five-day, eleven-state conservation tour in September of 1963 (Envirolink, 2008). For many reasons the tour did not succeed in putting the issue onto the national political agenda. However, it was the germ of the idea that ultimately flowered into Earth Day (Envirolink, 2008).
At a conference in Seattle, in September of 1969, Nelson announced that in the spring of 1970 there would be a nationwide grassroots demonstration on behalf of the environment and he invited everyone to participate (Envirolink, 2008). The wire services carried the story from coast to coast. The response was electric. Telegrams, letters, and telephone calls poured in from all across the country. The American people finally had a forum to express their concern about what was happening to the land, rivers, lakes, and air. For the next four months, two members of Nelson's Senate staff, Linda Billings and John Heritage, managed Earth Day affairs out of Nelson's Senate office (Envirolink, 2008).
Five months before Earth Day, on Sunday, November 30, 1969, The New York Times carries a lengthy article by Gladwin Hill reporting on the astonishing explosion of environmental events (Envirolink, 2008). It was obvious to Nelson that they were headed for a spectacular success on Earth Day, and it was clear that grassroots activities had grew beyond the capacity of his U.S. Senate office staff (Envirolink, 2008).
In mid-January, three months before Earth Day, John Gardner, Founder of Common Cause, provided temporary space for a Washington, D.C. headquarters. Senator Nelson staffed the office with college students and selected Denis Hayes as coordinator of activities (Envirolink, 2008). Earth Day worked because of the spontaneous response at the grassroots level. They had neither the time nor the resources to organize 20 million demonstrators and the thousands of schools and local communities that participated. That was the remarkable thing about Earth Day. It organized itself!
On April 22, 1970, 20 million people across America celebrated the first Earth Day. Since then, Earth Day has been growing rapidly throughout the nation and internationally.