But it was only four decades ago when – concerned that our land, water and sky were under siege by human-borne threats – the environmental movement was born, uniting concerned activists across …
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But it was only four decades ago when – concerned that our land, water and sky were under siege by human-borne threats – the environmental movement was born, uniting concerned activists across the globe.
An accurate assessment reveals there are two Earth Days. The United Nations, among others, celebrates the occasion on the March equinox each year; this observance was originally the brain child of peace activist John McConnell in 1969.
But it was April 22, 1970, when Gaylord Nelson, then a senator from the state of Wisconsin, marshalled the energy and passion of college students and environmental activists worldwide to celebrate Earth Day on a grand scale. Or, more accurately, to express concern for the damage being done to Mother Earth by her human inhabitants.
Pollution generated by our national economic machine had afflicted our life-giving natural world. Earth Day 1970 was designed as a teach-in to inform the general public about dangers that the epidemic of oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, hydrocarbon-belching automobiles, out-of-control consumerism and extremes presented to all living creatures.
On April 22, the environmental community near and far will mark the 40th anniversary of that initial celebration. Earth Day 2010 will call attention to the progress that has been made as well as the work yet to be done. Following are some local events taking place this month.
The Platt Park Green Team will host an Earth Day event on Tues., April 13, 6:30p.m., at Hope Church, 1801 S. Logan St. Bob Raynolds is a research associate with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and will address the topic, “What Climate Change Means For Colorado.” In addition, information will be presented on a variety of urban conservation topics including recycling, urban growers, urban wildlife, green businesses and more, as well as specific projects under way or planned for the Platt Park community. Refreshments will be provided by Whole Foods. For information: 720-300-0276.
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science, at 2001 Colorado Blvd., in City Park, welcomes you to Celebrate Earth Day 2010, and to explore its exhibits free of charge on Sun., April 18. Under the banner “What Can You Do Today To Create A Cleaner Tomorrow?” – a full menu of family activities will focus on global climate change and how individuals and families can make meaningful choices and changes.
The National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) will display its “RnE2ew” interactive mobile exhibit with a working wind turbine and solar panel, with virtual tours of the museum’s rooftop solar panels that received national attention during President Obama’s visit in 2009.
Greenthumbers will hear from Master Gardeners about xeriscaping and plants perfect for Colorado, while Garden Centers of Colorado will collect surplus plastic garden containers for recycling.
Animal and plant lovers can touch, see, and learn about different animals and plants that are impacted by earth’s changing climate, and there will be many great Free Day activities, such as scavenger hunts, Secrets of the Dioramas tours, and Mr. Bones and his giant dinosaur fossil puppets!
For information, call 303-370-6000 or visit www.dmns.org.
The Denver Zoo does its best to ingrain environmental consciousness in the minds of its younger visitors. The Zoo will host a two-day Party for the Planet – Youth Summit, Wed., April 21, and Thur., April 22, 9a.m.-1p.m.
The Zoo’s Community Leadership Project, Front Range EarthForce, and local schools will present a variety of ideas on how you can help the environment, based on the work of the next generation of activists, courtesy of kids K-12.
Party For The Planet – Youth Summit is included in the cost of zoo admission. Visit www.denverzoo.org or call 303-376-4800 for more information.
The City and County of Denver will host an Earth Day Fair, April 22, 10a.m.-2p.m., on the west lawn of Civic Center Park. Activities and displays will provide information on ways residents can increase their efforts toward conservation and preservation of our natural resources. Recycling, composting, pollution prevention, alternative transit, solar energy, etc., will be the focus of the day.
Organizations confirmed at press time include: Adobe Solar LLC, Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels, Colorado Environmental Coalition, Denver Green Festival, Denver Recycles, Denver Urban Gardens, Greenprint Denver, Peace Jam, Pedro’s Planet, Sierra Club and Volunteers For Outdoor Colorado.
For details of the 2010 Denver Earth Day Fair, contact Denver Recycles at 311, or visit www.denvergov.org/DEQ.
This year on Earth Day, world experts will gather with concerned citizens at the Park Hill campus of Johnson & Wales University for the International School Safety Convention, April 22-23, Montview Blvd. at Quebec St.
Speakers will cover Earth Day-related school issues such as daylight, clean air and water, indigenous building materials, protecting against natural hazards, and construction-related issues.
Also, presenters Michael Dorn, Randall Atlas, Dave Cullen, Brendan O’Malley and others will explore ways to protect schools from Columbine-style shootings, gang infiltration, and targeted political and military violence against students and teachers.
The International School Safety Convention is co-sponsored by the Found-ation for the Prevention of School Violence and SchoolSAFE Communications. The program is organized by Denver-based School Safety Partners. For more information and to register, visit www.EarthDayRally.org.
Cleaning up our environment can be done on a grand scale with global alliances, or one bag of trash at a time here at home. Celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day by sprucing up the confluence of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek, Sat., April 24, 8a.m.-noon. Tasks include willow thinning, transplanting, trail work and planting. Register with Tina Romero, firstname.lastname@example.org, or the volunteer hotline, 720-913-0330.
The Windstar Foundation, carrying on the work begun by the late John Denver, will celebrate EARTH DAY 2010 on the Visitors Center Plaza above Red Rocks Amphitheater on Sat., April 24, 10a.m.-4p.m.
This is Windstar’s seventh year at Red Rocks. The day’s events will include live music, and a variety of displays and presentations of interest to those looking to live life in a greener way.
Among the groups participating will be: Denver Botanic Gardens, the Sierra Club, Friends of Red Rocks, REC Solar, University of Colorado Science Discovery, Defenders of Wildlife, Earthseeds Project, Pueblo Collie/Sheltie Rescue, the Cloud Foundation, and W.O.L.F. Sanctuary.
Call John Simmons, 303-548-3816, or visit www.windstarcoloradoconnection.org for information.
While re-use is the preferable alternative for items you no longer need, life in the 21st century provides new challenges for proper disposal of items that have simply outlived their life cycle.
To assist you in proper disposal of your worn-out compact fluorescent bulbs and electronic devices, the On-Havana Street Community is partnering with Techno+Rescue for an Earth Week recycling event, slated for Sat., April 24, 8:30a.m.-12:30p.m., in the parking lot at Mark Vissering State Farm Insurance, 1852 S. Havana St.
Items to be accepted for free recycling include PCs, CPUs, towers, laptops, notebooks, cell phones, office phones, pagers, monitors, keyboards, printers, copiers, faxes, mice, wires, cables, cords, and compact fluorescent bulbs, and clothing and textiles.
Televisions with screens less than 24 inches will be recycled for a $20 charge. Larger units will be accepted for a $40 fee.
For details on Techno+Rescue, visit www.technorescue.com or call 303-482-2207. To reach the Havana Business Improvement District, call 303-360-7505 or visit www.OnHavanaStreet.com.
If you’re inspired to take direct action to help the earth, volunteers are needed on Sat., April 24, when five Denver neighborhoods – City Park West, City Park South, Bellevue-Hale, Mayfair and Hilltop will partner with Greenprint Denver to bring energy efficiency services and weatherization upgrades to their community. Volunteers will go door-to-door offering residents a free CFL porch light bulb, free curbside recycling registration, junk mail reduction, income-qualifying weatherization services, and sign-up for Xcel’s Windsource program or subsidized home energy audits.
To volunteer, send name and email address to email@example.com. Visit www.greenprintdenver.org for info.
Julie Connor and her staff at Denver Climate Challenge are in need of volunteers for a similar project they’re undertaking in the Swansea and Five Points neighborhoods, on Sat., April 24, 9:30a.m.-2p.m. Thus far, Denver Climate Challenge has swapped out 2,913 porch bulbs in 19 neighborhoods saving 199,748 kilowatt hours of electricity, $17,977 in energy costs and 175 tons of CO2 emissions. To help out with this Earth Week project, call 303-455-5600 or visit www.groundworkdenver.org.
The Role of Civil Society: Necessary Changes to Save Our Planet, will be taken up by Dr. Kumi Naidoo, executive director of Greenpeace International, on the DU campus in Lindsay Auditorium, Sturm Hall, 2000 E. Asbury Ave., Mon., April 26.
Dr. Naidoo was involved in the development of Greenpeace’s work in Africa and became a board member when Greenpeace opened offices in Johannesburg and Kinshasa in 2008. More recently, he served as chair of the civil society alliance Global Campaign for Climate Action, of which Greenpeace was a founding member.
The free talk will begin at 6p.m., preceded by a reception at 5:15p.m., and followed by a Q & A session at 6:45p.m. RSVP at www.alumni.du.edu/Naidoo.
The University of Denver will also host a number of on-campus events and efforts focused on sustainability and the environment during April, sponsored by the DU Environmental Team, Housing & Residential Education and the Environmental Sustainability Living Learning Community, among others. For details of all DU Earth Month events, visit www.du.edu/housing.
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