It’s time once again for a favored holiday in the world of landscaping: Earth Day. This day offers us the chance to take our love and respect of the outdoors and translate it to those who may not be as in touch with nature by offering educational summits on pressing environmental topics.
This year, the Earth Day Network alongside the March for Science will host its Earth Day 2017 campaigns, which will focus on environmental and climate literacy in Washington, D.C., at the National Mall. Things are scheduled to kick off at 9 a.m. on April 22.
“Education is the foundation for progress,” Earth Day Network said on their website. “We need to build a global citizenry fluent in the concepts of climate change and aware of its unprecedented threat to our planet. We need to empower everyone with the knowledge to inspire action in defense of environmental protection.”
The Earth Network’s goals for this year’s Earth Day workshops are to help inspire green voters, advance environmental and climate laws and policies and accelerate green technologies and jobs, according to its website.
The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970, when then-U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson, who died in 2005, decided that public awareness about environmental issues needed to be raised. This brought together 20 million Americans nationwide. In 1990, the holiday went global, involving 200 million people in 141 countries.
Since then, Earth Day has grown into a phenomenon that has gathered tens of thousands of partners in 192 countries. According to Earth Day Network, more than one billion people now participate in activities celebrating Earth Day each year, which makes it the largest civic observance in the world.
In 2009, the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) began hosting a Day of Service on Earth Day to show communities the important contributions landscapers provide. Since its inception, 1,100 volunteer projects have been completed as part of the Day of Service.
No project is too small when it comes to Earth Day, whether it’s planting trees, picking up trash or organizing educational workshops. To help combat the growing issue of losing trees, the Earth Day Network has set a goal of having 7.8 billion trees planted by 2020, the holiday’s 50th anniversary.
To help jumpstart Earth Day education efforts, the Earth Day Network has downloadable Earth Day Action Toolkits available that explain scientific and environmental crises caused by human actions. By providing this literature, the network is hoping to help enact change and take steps toward progress. The kit also provides information on how you can organize your own Earth Day events by registering at earthday.org/register.