April 22, 2015, is the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, the worldwide celebration of environmental protection efforts. Moved by the massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, in 1969, Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, at the time a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, realized that he could infuse the new public awareness of environmental impacts onto the national political agenda. In 1990 Denis Hayes, national coordinator, pushed the movement globally.
Here are some highlights of events happening this year and past events in communities throughout the United States.
ICMA Earth Day Resources
- ICMA Center for Sustainable Communities highlights sustainable efforts and reports on the best practices in environmental protection. In this blog post the center covers the 10 most interesting sustainability and earth day facts. Follow the ICMA Center for Sustainable Communities for the latest news and information on community sustainability efforts throughout the year.
- Read about the efforts of these ICMA international fellows who traveled in 2011 to U.S. cities to address climate change and sustainability at the international local level.
- The city of Ames, Iowa, inspired by the environmental awareness of Earth Day, created a factory to turn garbage into energy.
- In honor of the 2011 Earth Day, the city of Williamsburg, Virginia, issued a friendly “green challenge” to its city residents.
- On Earth Day 2008, Montgomery County, Maryland, adopted legislation to codify its greenhouse gas reduction goals. This document, a capstone project from George Washington University, highlights strategies to accomplish these goals.
2015 Earth Day Events
- Keep America Beautiful (KAB), the nation’s leading nonprofit that builds and sustains clean, green, and beautiful communities has a plethora of activities going on nationwide:
- KAB will rally thousands of volunteers at events across America on and around Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22, as part of its annual Great American Cleanup. Also check out the GAC social hub!
- In Texas, KAB sponsors the largest cleanup effort in the state, the Don’t Mess with Texas Trash-Off (DMWTTO)
- In celebration of Earth Day, Keep Kansas City Beautiful and Sprint Center are hosting an electronics recycling and paper shredding event.
- In the city of El Cerrito, California, residents celebrate Earth Day by having volunteers from their community participate in environmental projects and work with partners all over the city. For appreciation of their efforts the local government hosts a lunch at the community center.
- The town of Patagonia, Arizona, hosts an all-day event with such activities as a community-wide cleanup of household hazardous waste and a program of speakers covering topics like water conservation to help limit the impact of the community’s diminishing water supply.
- In the community of Riverside, California there will be an Earth Night in the Garden event to celebrate water efficiency and the environment, with activities such as ladybug releases!