US Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin started Earth Day celebrations in 1970
This weekend there will be many Earth Day celebrations around Indianapolis. April 22nd is officially Earth Day, but how did this day come about?
To answer this question we must go back to 1970 and to US Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. During his time in Washington, Senator Nelson was unhappy with how the federal government was addressing many of the environmental concerns of the day. So Senator Nelson turned to the American people to help force the environmental agenda into the national spotlight.
The goal of Earth Day for Senator Nelson was to create a national demonstration where the citizens showed their concern for the environment. On April 22, 1970, over 20 million Americans demonstrated their support by protesting in cities across the United States. This grass roots effort forced Congress to make the environment a top priority. In December of 1970, Congress created the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Today Earth Day is not only recognized in the United States but also internationally. This annual celebration was created to raise awareness on environmental issues, but is also an opportunity to become a more responsible caretaker to our environment. This Earth Day make a pledge to get involved in helping our environment.
If you need additional information that was not addressed here, please contact me and I will gladly answer your questions.
Brian Jones is the President of Scenic Green, Inc., an Indianapolis based landscaping firm. He’s a certified horticulturist and a former 7th grade social studies teacher.