From: Andy Soos, ENN
Published April 18, 2011 05:55 AM

Earth Day 2011

When is Earth Day? In many ways it should be every day but officially it is the anniversary of the first formal celebration on April 22, 1970. An estimated 20 million Americans wearing bell-bottoms and gas masks, gathered to voice their concerns about the deterioration of the environment. Earth Day is celebrated by no one central authority or government. Many different organizations (public, private and individuals) supply personal initiative to the celebration. The closest to a general or national governmental response was the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on April 16 and 17 on the National Mall. With more than 40 interactive exhibits, kids and adults can have eco-fun with hands on activities, art, music and storytelling with special guests. Special guests include Marcus McNeill from the San Diego Chargers, Madieu Williams from the Minnesota Vikings, and Olympic track star Michael Walton. Visitors learnt how to protect their own health and the environment in which they live.


Many organizations used the weekend of April 16 to celebrate (so as to not be in competition with traditional Easter Day events this year). For example there was an Earth Day tree sale in Denver. Many other places held special hazardous waste clean up events.

In Milwaukee some special events are scheduled for April 30 as an option. These include Earth Day Festival at Riverside Park and Earth Day Festival at Washington Park.

One of the larger non-governmental participants is the Earth Day Network which includes many multinational efforts. Some of their projects include:

• The Canopy Project: Fighting deforestation.

• Green Schools: Greening America’s Schools within a Generation.

• Women and Green Economy: Engaging women leaders in the creation and development of a global green economy.

• Athletes for the Earth: Bringing the voices of Olympic and professional athletes to the environmental movement.

• Creating Climate Wealth: Convening 200 of the world’s entrepreneurs to solve climate change and create a new green economy.

• Arts for the Earth: Celebrating the work of environmental art.

Athletes for the Earth: Brings the voices of Olympic and professional athletes to the environmental movement. Participating athlete/celebs include Olympic Gold Medalist Billy Demong, Olympic Bronze Medalist Andrew Weibrecht, World Champion Freeskier and founder of the Save Our Snow Foundation Alison Gannett, Boston Bruins Defenseman Andrew Ference, Olympic Gold Medal swimmer Aaron Peirsol, and NFL linebacker Dhani Jones.

The Canopy Project: In 2010, Earth Day Network planted over 1 million trees in 16 countries. In 2011, EDN will continue that effort with another 1 million trees. Locations where reforestation is most urgently needed include Haiti, Brazil, Mexico and urban areas of the US.

Women and the Green Economy: To accelerate and provide the new thinking and creative power for a global post-carbon economy, Earth Day Network is engaging women business, government and NGO leaders in its “Women and the Green Economy” campaign.

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