As you may know, this Sunday, April 22, 2012 is Earth Day.  What a great reminder to teach our children about the importance of preserving the environment, protecting wildlife and living green.

History of Earth Day

Earth Day was founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin in 1970.  Senator Nelson was motivated to take action after a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California in 1969.  He helped raise public awareness on the issues of air and water pollution and strived to educate people on the importance of environmental protection.

Senator Nelson’s efforts ultimately led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.  Over 40 years later, environmental concerns are still front and center in the public eye as climate changes continue to provide daily evidence that we need to do more to preserve our planet for the sake of our children and the generations that will follow.

They used hay to absorb the oil spilled in 1969 and volunteers young and old helped with the cleanup by pulling the oily hay out of the water.

To read more on the history of Earth Day and the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill, please visit the following websites:

http://www.earthday.org/earth-day-history-movement

and

http://sitfu.com/2010/05/hay-was-used-successfully-on-the-1969-santa-barbara-oil-spill/#more-437.

What can you do?

There are dozens of outdoor earth day celebrations planned in towns across Connecticut and you can find information on events happening in your area through local websites and newspapers.  However, because the forecast is looking like the weekend is going to be a washout, you may want to play it safe and choose one of the few indoor events.

Here are a few events scheduled to take place this weekend:

  • Party for the Planet at Beardsley Zoo on Saturday April 21st includes environmental education activities, animal encounters and family fun.  For more information, click here.
  • Earthstock Connecticut will be held at Tunxis Community College in Farmington on Sunday, April 22nd and will feature eco-minded vendors, exhibitors, food and family activities.  Rain date is April 29th.
  • Visit the The Children’s Museum in West Hartford on Sunday, April 22nd for special environmental themed family activities such as painting a flower pot to take home with soil and seeds.
  • Mystic Aquarium is having an Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, April 21st and Sunday, April 22nd including activities, games and crafts teaching how to reduce personal impact on the environment.

If you don’t have time to do something to celebrate Earth Day with your little ones this weekend, you can always let them help you plant shrubs, vegetables or flowers in the garden sometime this Spring or take them on a nature hike at one of our many beautiful state parks. Great Pond State Forest is one of my family’s favorites.

I can’t think of a better way to ensure that our planet is protected than to educate our children!