Making Earth Day count.
"Earth Day may be a turning point in American history. It may be the birth date of a new American ethic that rejects the frontier philosophy that the continent was put here for our plunder, and accepts the idea that even urbanized, affluent, mobile societies are interdependent - with the fragile, life-sustaining systems of the air, the water, the land."
- Gaylord Nelson, 1970
In September 1969, Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson boarded a plane from Santa Barbara to Berkeley, California after a disturbing talk with biologist Paul Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb. Nelson was one of only a handful of people in Congress who cared deeply about the environment, an issue that hadn't even been raised in the 1968 presidential race, so he had decided to take to the college lecture circuit to rally more support for his cause.
Beside him on the plane seat, Nelson found a copy of Ramparts magazine, the leading radical journal of the time. Nelson was no radical. A balding, hard-drinking veteran of World War II, he did not like the confrontations and violence that had come to mark protests against the Vietnam War. On TV he had seen too many rallies end in a chaos of police truncheons, burning flags and tear gas canisters. But this Ramparts had an idea that he liked. It described "teach-ins" against the war, days devoted to lectures, rallies, petitions and peace. Nelson soon proposed "a national teach-in" on the environmental crisis.
Somehow, the idea took hold. Campus groups got excited. Nelson hired Denis Hayes, a 25-year-old Harvard Law School student, to organize the event with a small staff and a budget of $125,000. They chose April 22, 1970 which fell between spring break and final exams. It also happened to be the centennial of Lenin's birth, a fact not lost on the Rush Limbaughs of the day. "Within the week, the John Birch Society denounced the event, saying this was a thinly veiled attempt to honor Lenin's birthday," Nelson later recalled. He replied that "the original conservationist, St. Francis of Assisi, was born on April 22."
But there was also some tension between Nelson and Hayes. The Senator wanted a friendly educational picnic that would appeal to Boy Scouts and mayors, college students and auto workers. Hayes didn't want to lose "the silent majority" by parading around in bellbottoms and dope fumes, but he also wanted to put the polluters in their place. In the end, the remarkable momentum of the event overtook them both.
The Shock of Success
Some 20 million Americans turned out for Earth Day 1970 events, making it in effect the largest rally of this era of big demonstrations. People were motivated in part by the sudden media frenzy over the environmental crisis, a shocking story that made the covers of Time, Newsweek and other big publications. (The major environmental groups of the day, such as the Sierra Club and the National Audubon Society, put little effort into Earth Day because they resented the press's ignorance of a century of conservation history. They also didn't quite know what to make of the 60s generation exemplified by Hayes, who thought of them as "the birds and squirrels people.")
But the public was also driven by genuine concern for the planet. Angry students performed their guerrilla theater, wearing gas masks, burying cars, pouring oil in the reflecting pool at the Standard Oil Building in San Francisco, delivering a dead octopus to Florida Light & Power to protest its pollution of Biscayne Bay. Other students collected tons of litter along roadsides and streams, attended teach-ins at 1,500 colleges and 10,000 schools, and politely listened to grand speeches by leaders like Gaylord Nelson. As Time pointed out, "politicians seized upon Earth Day as a new - and safe - issue."
Forty-two state legislatures passed Earth Day resolutions, the U.S. Department of the Interior sent 500 employees to lead teach-ins, and New York City Mayor John Lindsay rode an electric bus. President Richard Nixon sent word through an aide that this "should be more than a one-day event - [it] should be the beginning of a new and sustained effort."
Becoming a Tradition
What's remarkable, 25 years later, is that we remember Earth Day at all. At the time, it was fast forgotten, eclipsed by the National Guard's murder of four students at Kent State, a tragedy that plunged the country into even deeper trauma over Vietnam. In the history of the 60s, many events seem more significant, from Martin Luther King, Jr.'s March on Washington in 1963 to the Chicago Democratic Convention riots in 1968. But Earth Day has produced the most lasting commemoration. To be sure, Earth Day has spent most years in hibernation. It was revived in 1980, drawing only three million people. But the 1990 extravaganza finally transformed it into an annual celebration.
Earth Day isn't Super Bowl Sunday, an event that the media hypes into the stratosphere every year, but it's an occasion that many people enjoy, like Mother's and Father's Days. In 1994, an Earth Day that made no news, more than 625,000 people attended some 400 events around the country, reports the Earth Day Network. At the Great L.A. Clean Up, some 30,000 people collected 11,000 pounds of trash, planted 2,300 trees, and erased three miles of graffiti. Baton Rouge organized an all-species parade, Arkansas hosted a solar car tour, Chicago opened its waterfront to a "walk 'n roll" festival. At the South Street Metro station in Boston, 2,500 passersby joined a "promise tree," turning their environmental pledges into paper "leaves." One boy said he would "stop shooting the birds off my neighbor's roof with a slingshot." If he keeps his promise, another life will have been changed for the better by an Earth Day.
Another Big Event
The 25th Anniversary promises more of the same. New York City will hold an international "Parade for the Planet" up Sixth Avenue past a million viewers to a giant family picnic in Central Park. (It will be anniversary mania in The Big Apple - the 50th for the United Nations, the 100th for the New York Zoological Society, the 125th for the American Museum of Natural History.) At night, the Empire State Building will become a screen for a slide show bigger than IMAX.
Down in Washington, D.C., the national environmental groups and Concerts For the Environment plan the biggest rock show ever on the Mall, a showcase to prove to the politicians that the greening of America hasn't stopped. (In 1993, the early planning for the 25th Anniversary by Earth Day USA in New Hampshire collapsed in bickering over incompetence and corporate sponsorships. In the end, Gaylord Nelson quit the board, Denis Hayes spent weeks trying to repair things before resigning with a six-and-a-half-page letter, and other directors departed to form the Earth Day Network.)
But Earth Day has also been a bundle of contradictions. Is it a picnic or a protest? Do politicians genuinely care, or deliver green bromides? Should we change our personal habits, or demand that industries change theirs? Does Earth Day sell out to a faddish society unwilling to make fundamental changes, or invite the general public that dislikes stridency to do their own good deeds for the Earth? And what has Earth Day really done for the environment in the past 25 years?
Earth Day remains an event without a galvanizing agenda that would propel people forward. The dominant environmental groups today began as passionate battles against real villains. The Environmental Defense Fund got started in 1967 to ban DDT. In 1971, Greenpeace took to the seas to stop the slaughter of whales. And the thousands of community groups loosely aligned by the Citizens Clearinghouse on Hazardous Wastes organized to fight dangerous threats to their health, not collect litter or listen to free concerts. Some of them fear Earth Day because it unleashes a tidal wave of corporate greenwashing that drowns their efforts to reach the public. It turns deadly serious issues into misty pictures of forests loved and cared for by Weyerhauser.
Earth Day also promotes the myth that environmentalism is somehow grander, holier, more important than other social issues. Politicians embraced Earth Day 1970 precisely because it wasn't about civil rights or Vietnam - it came as "relief to a movement-pummeled white, middle-class America," one sociologist noted, letting them "stand for something close to country, God, motherhood, and apple pie." An environmentalism this superior, or shallow, doesn't amount to much. Within months of Earth Day 1990, an American public that had waved Earth flags turned to yellow ribbons for our troops in Kuwait, waging an oil war antithetical to an environmental vision.
Yet an environmental movement without Earth Day would be like a Christianity without Christmas. It's the annual event that millions of people remember, the milestone in their minds, their marker of environmental progress. Earth Day 1970 did not launch the modern era of environmentalism, but it certainly provided a tremendous booster. President Nixon, working to steal a popular issue from his likely opponent in the 1972 election, Senator Edmund Muskie of Maine, had already created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at the start of the year.
Throughout the 70s, Congress passed one major law after another that still shape the environmental protections we have today for clean air and water, endangered species, marine mammals, hazardous wastes, household garbage, pesticides and safe drinking water. By Earth Day 1980, Marc Mowry and Tim Redmond reported in their book, Not in Our Backyard, that the new environmental professionals had declared victory. The movement had matured "from the ragged squad of citizens' militia to disciplined platoons of lawyers, scientists and civil servants," EPA Administrator Douglas Costle said then.
Then came Ronald Reagan. Maybe he was bad for the environment, but he was a bonanza for environmental groups. The Sierra Club alone grew from 100,000 members in 1981 to 400,000 in 1984. (James Watt was the organization's best fund-raiser ever.) The movement as a whole grew from five million followers in 1980 to 25 million in 1990. And Denis Hayes, by now a San Francisco attorney, suggested late in 1988 that the environmental groups hold another celebration. This time he worked with 20 employees, 18 regional offices, 115 directors and a budget of $3 million. Once again Earth Day fever spread like a feel-good epidemic. On April 22, 1990, some 200 million people appeared in 140 countries for what The New York Times called "the largest grassroots demonstration in history."
Most readers have their own memories of Earth Day 1990. In New York, 750,000 people gathered on the Great Lawn in Central Park, soaking up UV rays and listening to the B-52s. In France, people formed a human chain 500 miles long. In Italy, 5,000 people "fainted" on the streets to protest carbon monoxide. Yet even as it happened, we knew it wouldn't last. "Earth Day 1990 is destined to follow the new tradition of Live Aid, Sport Aid and Band Aid - it will appeal to the abbreviated American attention span with a huge 24-hour dose of stunts, palaver and celebrity hoo-ha," wrote Newsweek, which itself soon found new crusades.
Today, five years later, Earth Day 1990 looks more like the end of an era than the dawn of an environmental decade. Yes, we've had the Earth Summit of 1992 and the Population Conference of 1994, and Al Gore works in the White House. But the major environmental groups have hemorrhaged members, money and staff, and Congress sleepwalked through the past five years, passing less green legislation than under Ronald Reagan. Clinton's green agenda, laid out early in 1993, has sunk without leaving much of a trace.
Now the Republicans will try to rule. Newt Gingrich, who promised USA Today on Earth Day 1990 that he would spread office recycling throughout the House, earned a 13 percent rating from the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) in the last session of Congress. (He still beat Senator Bob Dole, who rated three percent.) The Contract With America includes planks that scare environmental lobbyists half to death, so they've revived the old battle cries used against Ronald Reagan. "We've got to tell the public that their basic environmental rights are endangered," says Peter Kelley, former communications director for LCV.
The Washington environmental pros must also shed their image as a liberal Democratic special interest group. On Earth Day 1995, Kelley hopes "the environmental majority" will decide to band together in "citizen SWAT teams to meet with their members of Congress." They might even remind the House Speaker about recycling.
Yet good things have happened since Earth Day 1990. Americans have become serious recyclers, collecting upwards of 22 percent of our trash, some 45 million tons of newspapers, wine bottles, pet food cans, interoffice memos, junk mail and plastic milk jugs. Much of this material goes right back into mundane products like more newspapers or toilet paper, but inventors keep finding new uses for old materials. Back in 1988, only 600 communities had recycling programs - now some 6,600 do.
We have also seen the light. Compact fluorescent lightbulbs, hardly more than a novelty item in 1990, now account for seven percent of the lighting market. They're the most visible emblem in an energy-efficiency revolution sweeping through our refrigerators, computers, central air conditioners, motors, offices and factories. (We've also improved on water efficiency but, alas, we change toilets much less often than lightbulbs.)
And, finally, we've begun using a new word for environmentalism: "sustainability." Granted, it sounds vague and academic, but ordinary Americans are giving it some meaning, linking environmentalism with economics, communities with eco-systems, activists with entrepreneurs. President Clinton has established a Council on Sustainable Development, due to report to him in June, but the real action is closer to home among people who learned the lesson of the Gingrich revolution before it happened: Don't count on Washington. If you want a better society, build it yourself.
In Silicon Valley, California, anti-toxics activists have banded together with unions and money lenders to convert a plant that made Bradley Fighting Vehicles into one that produces light rail trains. In Manchester, Texas, the community signed a "good neighbor agreement" with the local factory so people can now monitor pollution for themselves, instead of relying on distant bureaucrats. And in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, several hundred activists have been meeting since 1993 to draft a blueprint for "Sustainable Milwaukee" with worker-owned businesses, public purpose banks, a light rail system and greener neighborhoods.
Sustainability Day 2000? Doubtful. Earth Day still has a better ring. But over the next five years, we have to remember that April 22 is more than a celebration. It's a promise to better the lives of ourselves, our nation and the world.
RELATED ARTICLE: It Didn't Begin With Earth Day
The Green Momentum Was Building Long Before
Environmentalism began 25 years ago on the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, right? Well, not quite. It's not surprising that people might think so, but Earth Day One can more properly be called a new beginning. As eye-opening as it was for a large segment of the nation, it was in fact a culmination of a trend, an overflowing of a reservoir of environmental concern that had long been a-building.
Let's time-warp ourselves back a few decades. The Great Depression and World War II had diverted us from Henry David Thoreau, George Perkins Marsh, John Muir, and many other precursors of modern attitudes toward the environment. But then, in 1948, we can say with some exaggeration that all hell broke loose. William Vogt, Audubon official and later director of Planned Parenthood, published Road to Survival, the best-selling conservation book of its day. And, in the same year, Fairfield Osborn, president of the New York Zoological Garden and founder of the Conservation Foundation, published Our Plundered Planet. Both Vogt and Osborn warned of the dangers of overpopulation (the population of the U.S. at that time was about 147 million; today it's 263 million) and of resource depletion. With updated statistics these books could have been written yesterday.
Also in 1948, former U.S. Forestry Service official and University of Wisconsin professor Aldo Leopold was completing his Sand County Almanac (published in 1949), probably the most influential book on conservation ever written. Its force of logic and eloquence of expression made defining impacts on former Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas and on Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt, and has jolted countless thousands of other readers out of complacency about the natural world in which we live.
Then it was the 1950s. Much was going on. It was a heady time, rich in excitement, danger and promise. A Wilderness Act was drafted - the start of a long, convoluted process that came to a mostly successful conclusion in 1964. Conservationists fought off the Corps of Engineers' attempt to build dams on the Green River in dinosaur country out west, then failed to prevent the building of the Glen Canyon dam on the Colorado.
The public was beginning to be sensitized. Warnings of our deteriorating environment were coming in from all over. About a proposed copper mine in the state of Washington, then-Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman said, "Within this vastness is a valuable copper deposit, placed there, perhaps by a wise Creator to test whether man could forego riches for fullness of the spirit." In New Jersey where a power company wanted to obliterate a beautiful mountain lake and replace it with a pumped-storage reservoir, a local hardware store owner, Tom Ritter, stood up to the wealthy and powerful. "We need places like Sunfish Pond as benchmarks to measure man's folly against the wisdom and sanity of creation," he said. "We need places where we can take our children and be able to say, 'This is the way it was in the days of the Indians.'" It was still several years until 1970.
In the 1960s we heard other voices too. Famous aviator Charles Lindbergh said in the July 1964 issue of Readers' Digest, "The construction of an airplane is simple when compared to the evolutionary achievement of a bird," and, "If I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes." His wife, Anne Morrow, reminded us that a human is "an animal alongside other animals - one of many miracles of life on earth, not the only miracle."
And of course we heard from the opposition too. A former mayor of Fairbanks, Alaska, Julian Rice, said that the oil reserves in his state were placed there by God, and, "To say that we shouldn't use them is to be anti-God." (Some things never change.)
The Saturday Review for May 22, 1965 was a special issue with the title "The Fouling of the American Environment." In it, Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall quoted Edward Durell Stone as saying that "Americans of this century have turned one of the world's most beautiful continents into one of the ugliest." In the same issue, Wallace Stegner said that if we don't control population, then "the Great Society is idle chatter and conservation is a mumbling of gums." Yes, in the 1960s we had plenty to think about, and to do.
Then came the major event of the decade, Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, published in part in The New Yorker in 1962. Silent Spring has been called the Uncle Tom's Cabin of modern environmentalism. Without Carson, there may never have been an Earth Day.
With hindsight, we can see that Aldo Leopold and Rachel Carson together, directly or indirectly, influenced just about everybody. But there was a difference. Leopold caused us to look more intently and lovingly at all our wilderness areas, designated or defacto, and at all parks and natural areas of rich biological content. Carson made us look at industry - particularly the chemical industry - and showed us how, in the name of progress, we were poisoning nature - and ourselves.
And, in 1968, Edward Abbey published his reflections about the southwest in Desert Solitaire - hilarious but deeply thought-out, applicable anywhere. Among other voices: History professor Lynn White, Jr., in his seminal "The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis," (Science, March 10, 1967) demonstrated how our western culture has built-in hubris, leading us to exploit the earth unmercifully. And Professor of Biology Garrett Hardin (Science, December 1968), with his "The Tragedy of the Commons," taught us why we nominally rational humans degrade our environment in spite of ourselves.
And there were other voices. In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson delivered an address to Congress in which he said: "The storm of modern change is threatening to blight and diminish in a few decades what has been cherished and protected for generations...Every major river system is now polluted...Our land will be attractive tomorrow only if we organize for action and rebuild and reclaim the beauty we inherited. Our stewardship will be judged by the foresight with which we carry out these programs."
Beginning with Christmas 1968, astronauts began sending back to us photos of the Earth as seen from the moon. Astronaut Frank Borman, from the perspective of Apollo 8 on the first trip around the moon, looked back at this blue planet in a black sky and saw it as an oasis in the solar system. There it was, what we had been talking about all along but hadn't really seen: the Earth in all its beauty and fragility.
How can it be, many of us said, that we are polluting and otherwise ravaging this small planet, our only home? We recalled the words of Senator and presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson: "We travel together, passengers on a little space ship, dependent on its vulnerable reserves of air and soil; all committed for our safety to its security and peace; preserved from annihilation only by the care, the work and, I will say, the love we give our fragile craft."
And people were not only just saying things in this pre-1970 era: They were beginning to take action. In 1968 we passed the National Trails System Act and at the beginning of 1970, the landmark National Environmental Protection Act.
It is clear that something like Earth Day 1970 had to happen. If Senator Gaylord Nelson and Denis Hayes hadn't figuratively put their heads together and done it, something else, some other event, would have triggered the explosion of pent-up pressure for action. However, other things didn't happen; Earth Day 1970 did - one of the largest organized demonstrations in U.S. history. Marches and speeches all over the country. Government shut down for a day. Front-page banner headlines in The New York Times and other major newspapers.
With such a beginning, what can we report today about the intervening 25 years? What have we learned? What progress have we made? Overall, the report is not encouraging. World population has grown by 1.98 billion (3.698 billion in 1970; 5.675 billion today). Just this increase of 1.98 billion is equal to the entire population of the world in 1929. In the last 25 years the U.S. population has increased by some 60 million, our country's entire population in 1886. In the words of Harvard naturalist E.O. Wilson, such population growth is "a monster loose upon the land."
In 1970, the impact of motor vehicles on air quality and on the landscape was clearly foreseen. In that year, a California group called Ecology Action buried a new automobile with great fanfare as a symbolic protest. And what has happened in the meantime? In the U.S. in 1970, 108 million motor vehicles (cars, buses, and trucks) were registered. In 1995 this figure has risen to about 200 million. In 1970, for every one thousand U.S. citizens, we had 530 motor vehicles. Today we have 760, an increase of 43 percent.
A bright spot is that, because of our increased industrial efficiencies and increased auto mileage per gallon, our per-person usage of energy has improved. Yet, in a good illustration of how population pressures can overwhelm any gains, our total U.S. energy use has risen from 66.4 quadrillion BTUs in 1970 to about 83 quadrillion BTUs today. So much for any attempt to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
So, all told, what would life be like today without the last 25 years of earth-consciousness? Hard to say, but we certainly would be living on a more polluted and uglier Earth. Numerous important and occasionally dramatic steps have been taken to improve our environment. The dark side is that each step forward is threatened by the rapid tide of rising population and overconsumption threatening to wipe out all the gains. As economist E.J. Mishan put it, "As the carpet of increased choice is unrolled before us by the foot, the carpet of opportunity is being rolled up behind us by the yard." But we can't take the time to be pessimistic. We should all be intent on the major challenges of today. The consequences of inaction are abundantly clear.
GEORGE SCHINDLER is forestry coordinator for the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club.
RELATED ARTICLE: EARTH DAY EVERYWHERE
While our early deadlines preclude a really complete listing, here's a look at what's happening around the country leading up to and following Earth Day on April 22. Be sure to confirm times and dates by contacting the addresses and phone numbers provided, or check with: Earth Day USA, P.O. Box 266, Amherst, NH 83831/(603)672-5441; Earth Day 25, 900 17th St. NW, Washington, DC 20006/(202)429-2660.
ALL-SPECIES CONCERT * April 22. Phoenix. Contact: James Bailey, Earth Day Arizona, P.O. Box 40103, Phoenix, AZ 85067/(602)266-8044.
EARTH DAY CELEBRATION * April 22 and 23. Beardsley Park, Bridgeport. Exhibits, performances, lectures, activities. Contact: Alyssa Burger, E Magazine, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881/(203)854-5559, X104.
KIDS CHALLENGE * April 4. Beach activities, Earth Walk at Universal Studios, tree planting, Great L.A. Clean Up.
ECO EXPO * April 7,8,9. Environmental business exposition, includes an Earth Day Pavilion sponsored by Earth Service.
RECYCLE WEEK * April 16-22. Events to be announced.
5TH ANNUAL PERMANENT CHARITIES EARTH WALK * April 22. A walk through the backlots and byways of Hollywood, with sponsored walkers raising money for environmental organizations.
GREAT L.A. CLEAN UP * April 29. 25 separate events around the city. Los Angeles Contact: Earth Service, Inc., 1800 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067/(310)788-0008.
25TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION OF EARTH DAY * April 29, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Speakers, peace pole planting. Contact: Bob Rogers, Earth Day Coordinator, California State University, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90815/(310)985-7853.
EARTHFAIR * April 23, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. A 400-youth Earth Parade kicks off this event.
5TH ANNUAL VIP (VERY IMPORTANT PLANT) RECEPTION * April 20. Birch Aquarium Museum of Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Mayor Susan Golding presents environmental achievement awards.
San Diego Contact: Kari Gray, San Diego Earth Day, P.O. Box 9827, San Diego, CA 92109/(619)496-6666 or (619)272-7370.
EARTH DAY FAMILY FESTIVAL * April 22, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Plaza Park and Civic Auditorium. Contact: World Environmental Network, P.O. Box 53589, San Jose, CA 95153/(408)281-7100.
GLOBAL RESTORATION FAIR * Presidio Park. Contact: Stephanie Andelman, Global Cities Project, 2962 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94123/(415)775-0791.
EARTH DAY SPRING CLEAN * Volunteers restore habitats in the Bay Area. Contact: Caroline Harwood, 116 New Montgomery Street, Suite 530, San Francisco, CA 94105/(800)727-8619.
HABITAT RESTORATION * April 22-23. Non-native plant removal, native species planting, local creek restoration. Contact: Peter Drekmeier, Bay Area Action, 715 Colorado Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94303/(415)321-1994.
EARTH DAY TAMPA BAY * April 22. Exhibits, refreshments, voter registration, tree planting, children's activities. Contact: John Walkinshaw, South West Florida Water Management District, 2379 Broad Street, Brooksville, FL 34609/(904)796-7211.
Coconut Grove (Miami)
TASTE OF HEALTH * April 22 and 23, 11 a.m.-dusk. Peacock Park. Family health food event. Exhibits and live entertainment. Contact: Tom Reilly, 1790 Keystone Boulevard, North Miami, FL 33181/(305)892-2252.
EARTH WORLD * April 7-9. Piedmont Park. Village of environmentally concerned organizations as part of Atlanta's Dogwood Festival.
ROCK/FOLK CONCERT * April 22. Stone Mountain Park outside Atlanta.
GREENFEST * April 17-23. University of Georgia, Athens.
Georgia contact: Dr. Olin M. Ivey, Georgia Environmental Organization, 6750 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, Atlanta, Georgia 30360/(404)447-4367.
STATE OF THE ENVIRONMENT WEEK * April 17-21. Exhibits, demonstrations, live presentations. James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph.
DIVERSE-CITY TRAIN * March 25. Chicago Transit Authority train through ethnically diverse neighborhoods on the Red Line. Presentations and performances, natural food buffet.
EARTH DAY SILVER ANNIVERSARY GALA * April 8. Hyatt Regency. Organic food and drink.
EARTH DAY 25 - A CELEBRATION OF COMMUNITY * April 23, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Youth Fair. April 24, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Amundsen High School. Athletic and educational events.
Chicago contact: Paul Miller, Earth Day Illinois, 845 West Lawrence #5, Chicago, IL 60640/(312)561-4026.
LOUISIANA (Baton Rouge)
EARTH DAY REGIONAL FESTIVAL * April 23, 11 a.m.-dusk. Downtown Baton Rouge. Pavillions featuring international environmental issues, local ecology walks, backyard habitats, two stages of music, children's activities and an All-Species Parade. Contact: Susan Hamilton, 222 St. Louis Street, Government Building, 3rd Floor, Baton Rouge, LA 70802/(504)389-3113.
BLACK EARTH DAY * April 22 and 23. Dunbar School, Baltimore. Presentations, exhibits and field trips. Environmental Justice Roundtable. Contact: Deborah Alex-Saunders, P.O. Box 2097, 3509 Milan Road, Sandusky, OH 44870/(419)625-3230.
TREE-MENDOUS MARYLAND * Herring Run: volunteers plant trees along Herring Run Watershed, Baltimore. Contact: Chris Edwards, 2500 Broening Highway, Baltimore, MD 21224/(410)631-3000.
EARTH DAY CONCERT ON THE ESPLANADE * April 22. Contact: Linda Heald, Earth Day Boston, Inc., P.O. Box 410245, 17 Monsignor O'Brien Highway, East Cambridge, MA 02141/(617)227-0025.
MISSOURI (St. Louis)
EARTH DAY COMMUNITY FESTIVAL * April 22-23. Parades, athletic events, demonstrations, exhibits. Contact: Jerry Klamon, 3617 Grandel Square, St. Louis, MO 63108/(314)531-1995.
NEW JERSEY (Newark)
EARTH DAY '95 * Branch Brook Park, Newark, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Speakers on "environmental justice," entertainment, community speak-out. Contact: Marleny Franco, 303-309 Washington Street, Newark, NJ 07102/(201)642-4646.
NEW YORK (New York City)
GIANT EARTH PROJECTIONS * March 20, 9:15 p.m. Giant images projected on the Empire State Building. During the week prior to Earth Day, projections on landmark buildings in all five boroughs.
PARADE FOR THE PLANT * April 27. March from the United Nations building up Avenue of the Americas to Central Park for an all-day Earth Day Family Picnic.
BUILDING THE SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY CONFERENCE * April 27-30. Vista Hotel at The World Trade Center, featuring Dr. Karl-Henrik Robert, a consultant with the Swedish government on sustainable issues.
Earth Day New York will also host Clean/Green Up, Earth-Fair, and an International Poster Exhibition. For a detailed list, including related activities of other environmental groups, contact: Pamela Lippe, Earth Day New York, 10 East 39th Street, Suite 601, New York, NY 10016/(212)686-4905.
WALKATHON * April 23. Five miles from public square to zoo along Cuyahoga River.
EARTHFEST * April 23, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Cleveland Zoo. Five booths showcasing nonprofit organizations, local businesses, children's activities, musical entertainment and hands-on environmental science. Free admission for those who travel to Earthfest on public transportation or participate in walkathon.
Cleveland contact: Chris Trepal, Cleveland Earth Day Coalition, 3606 Bridge Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44113/(216)281-6468.
NOTES FROM THE EARTH * April 22, 12 p.m.-8 p.m. On the Mall. Performer list to be announced. Past guests include Paul McCartney, Midnight Oil, k.d. lang, Joan Baez, NRBQ and Bruce Cockburn. Educational, interactive and informational booths. Contact: Denise Gaumer, Concerts for the Environment, 126 North 3rd Street, Suite 308, Minneapolis, MN 55401/(612)338-5485.
PROJECT EARTHLINK * April 20-23. Three events on the Mall: National Inter-tribal Traditional Gathering. April 21. EarthCare 95 Exposition. April 20-23. Building a New World. April 20. Children's program. Contact: Daphne Gemmill, NOAA Suite 1225, 1100 Wayne Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20910/(301)427-2089, ext. 20.
Washington, D.C., Contact: Glen Gaskins, Earth Day 25, 9007 Landskin Lane, Columbia, MD 21045/(410)997-8533.
AROUND THE COUNTRY
SIXTH ANNUAL MARCH FOR PARKS * April 21-23. Fundraising walk in more than 500 communities across the United States. Contact: Kathy Westra, March for Parks, National Parks and Conservation Association, 1776 Massachusetts Avenue N.W., Washington, DC 20036/(800)628-7275, ext. 121.
- Compiled by Maud Dillingham
WILL NIXON is editor-at-large of E Magazine.
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