By Marie Winger
Remember back in 1969 when we saw those first images of our lovely planet hanging in the blackness of space? Remember how beautiful it was?
In 1962, Rachel Carson published the seminal environmental book “Silent Spring,” warning us of the devastating effects of DDT on bird eggs. The ’60s featured a string of environmental catastrophes, the Santa Barbara oil spill and the Cuyahoga River fires among them. And then we saw that image of our jewel of a planet. In response to all of this, Gaylord Nelson, a politician, conceived of Earth Day. He and Congressman Pete McCloskey and activist Dennis Hayes organized the first Earth Day demonstration on April 22, 1970. They chose April 22 because it was halfway between spring break and finals in hopes that they would get a lot of participation from college students.
Still observed on that date, Earth Day has grown from just college demonstrations to a global celebration of our planet and the complex environmental challenges we continue to face. 1990 saw the first global celebration with 200 million people in 141 countries. 1992 saw the first Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro. This year’s theme is “Invest in Our Planet.”
To honor Earth Day this year, the library will showcase some of our books that deal with environmental issues and celebrate the wonders of our Earth. See the special display in the library. Among these books is “Silent Spring,” named one of the 25 greatest science books of all time.
The Homestead Village Environmental Action Resource (EAR) Committee has spearheaded a fundraiser to purchase solar panels to support solar-power of Homestead’s landscaping equipment. The EAR Committee is also working on a campus sustainability programming effort, funded by a recent grant! Stay tuned to our NEWS to learn more! Additionally, the Homestead Village Legacy Society (a group of individuals who have supported the endowment for benevolent care with a gift of more than $5,000) will plant a Silver Maple tree on Homestead’s campus to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Society.
Happy Earth Day!