Celebrating Earth Day 50 years

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This year, Earth Day celebrates 50 years of educating the public about environmental issues. This year, Earth Day 2020 is observed on Wednesday, April 22.

Founded in 1970, Earth Day was the brainchild of WI Senator Gaylord Nelson and inspired by the protests of the 1960s. It began as a “national teach-in on the environment” and was held on April 22 to maximize the number of students who could be reached on university campuses. By raising public awareness of pollution, Nelson hoped to bring environmental causes into the national spotlight.

According to earthday.org, the first Earth Day mobilized millions of Americans for the protection of the planet. On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans (ten percent of the U.S. population at the time) took to the streets, college campuses and hundreds of cities to protest environmental ignorance and demand a new way forward for our planet. The first Earth Day is credited with launching the modern environmental movement and is now recognized as the planet’s largest civic event.

Earth Day led to passage of landmark U.S. environmental laws, including the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. Many countries soon adopted similar laws and in 2016, the United Nations chose Earth Day as the day to sign the Paris Climate Agreement into force.

For Earth Day 2020, the theme is Climate Action. According to earthday.org, the enormous challenge – but also the vast opportunities – of action on climate change have distinguished the issue as the most pressing topic for the 50th anniversary.

The first Earth Day Celebration in Genesee County began at the University of Michigan-Flint and for several years, the hosting of the community event has alternated between the campuses of UM-Flint and Mott. This year, the UM-Flint, Kettering University and Mott Community College will co-host the annual community Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, April 25 at the MCC Campus Regional Technology Center from 10am-2pm.

The community is invited to participate in this fun, informative event! There will be engaging and timely information on environmental issues, as well as many local exhibitors and student clubs, food trucks, free seedlings, print your own T-shirt, recycled art contest for all ages, and much, much more. Local organizations will provide educational information and activities for kids and adults. Local vendors will offer earth-friendly items. Live animals and other presentations will round out the activities. All presentations are located in the Regional Technology Center Auditorium.

The prevailing themes of this year’s event include healthy and sustainable living, The Flint River, animals, energy and food.

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