Earth Day will be here tomorrow – 4/22/16 – an annual celebration shared by billions of people all over the world. Perhaps for you, Earth Day has already arrived! This event was first established in the United States in 1970. During a 1969 UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Science, and Cultural Organization) conference in San Francisco, a peace activist, John McConnell, proposed a day to honor the earth and the concept of peace. His idea caught on quickly as twenty million Americans celebrated forming peaceful demonstrations favoring environmental reform. Two thousand colleges and universities, roughly ten thousand primary and secondary schools and hundreds of communities across the United States participated the first year. The Earth Day celebration was held locally in Columbia at Peace Park, on the University of Missouri (MU) campus, from the get-go, an annual tradition that continues today.
In 1990, Denis Hayes promoted the event internationally, organizing events in 141 nations. With the world-wide expansion came a huge boost to recycling efforts worldwide and the beginning of United Nations summits focusing on environmental concerns. By year 2000, the Internet helped link activists world-wide; over 5,000 environmental groups reached out to millions of people in 184 countries. Now it is observed in 192 countries, coordinated by the nonprofit Earth Day Network, making it the largest secular holiday in the world celebrated by billions of people every year.
For years I have participated in this fine tradition. This is a fun event I enjoyed sharing with my girls while they were growing up, they loved celebrating Earth Day! Hopes are you too have been enjoying this annual tradition. If not, click on the Earth Day Network, and find an event in your area.
As for “my” local, this year’s event, the 27th Annual, will again be held in Peace Park on the MU campus from noon to 7pm this Sunday, 4/24; rain date 5/1/16. Peace Park is located at the north end of the MU campus along Elm St, between 6th & 8th Street. Over the years the event has expanded onto the adjacent streets, including 7th, 8th, and Elm Street. Events include a packed performance on the musical stage, Kids Park, Eco Avenue, and many educational and food booths. The stage will be filled with performances including two children’s choirs, dance performances, folk music, bluegrass, sitar, woodwind music, and close out with a couple bands including Violet and the Undercurrents and Catdaddy’s Funky Fuzz-Bunker Band. For more information go to – http://columbiaearthday.org/contact; 573-875-0539 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Mark your calendars now! Then 4/24, bring your family and friends along and join the celebration with the rest of the World!