Celebrate Earth Day’s 40th anniversary

April 13, 2010

By Katie Smith

April 22 will mark the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, and groups all over the community are gearing up for activities to show their appreciation for the environment.

A variety of businesses and organizations will set up information and demonstration booths pertaining to Earth Day during the Farmers Market from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Pickering Barn on April 17. Participants will include the Issaquah Garden Club, Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery and the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust.

Margaret Ullman, volunteer coordinator for the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, said representatives of the organization will be “providing resources on how to learn more about the local landscapes and how to get involved.”

For those who really want to engage in the spirit of Earth Day, Mountains to Sound has numerous events planned. On April 17, volunteers will work at Timberlake Park off Northwest Sammamish Road to remove invasive plants from the area, improving the environment for wildlife, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

On Earth Day itself, Mountains to Sound will work on restoring Issaquah Creek and volunteers will pot young trees and shrubs to later be planted in parks and forests along Interstate 90 in their Native Plant Nursery at Lake Sammamish State Park. A number of local companies, including Costco and PCL Construction, will be among those participating. This particular event will not be open to the public, but those interested in being a part of any of Mountains to Sound volunteer opportunities can sign up through its Web site, where a full calendar of Earth Day events is available.

King County will host its seventh annual Earth Day expo April 22. From 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., visitors can learn simple ways to live a green and healthy lifestyle as experts deliver information about how to recycle, volunteer, reduce your carbon footprint, make your home and garden more Earth friendly and much more. There will also be activities and educational opportunities for children, as well as an appearance by Bert the Salmon. The event will be held at Westlake Plaza on Fourth Avenue and Pine Street in Seattle.

Earth Day history

In 1970, after years of concern for the environment, U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson, D-Wis., gave a speech to a fledgling conservation group in Seattle, proclaiming that there would be a nationwide environmental teach-in sometime in spring. Once the story of his declaration was circulated throughout the nation, inquiries from those interested in participating came pouring in.

After opening an office dedicated to his vision, and hiring a man named Denis Hayes to help him coordinate the many volunteer organizers getting involved, Nelson launched the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. It has been an annual event since.

Katie Smith is a student in the University of Washington Department of Communication News Laboratory. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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