On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans across the country protested against the deterioration of the environment. What started as a movement across universities spread like wildfire throughout communities and ended in involvement of school children and adults, joining the students of higher education across college campuses. Known as Earth Day, this movement brought together people from all walks of life with the shared concerns of pollution, loss of wildlife, and the rapid surges of urban development resulting in a decrease of open space. This day was more about demonstrations, it was a day to educate the impacts of man-made havoc on the environment and the importance of sustainability and environmental regulations.

Earth Day has evolved over the last 50 years to continue the traditions started in 1970 and also to celebrate the wonderful resources and gifts that Earth provides us. Each year has a theme and this year’s is “climate action.” Land conservation is a huge tool for climate action. According to the Land Trust Alliance, forests, prairies, farmland, and other natural habitats and landscapes absorb approximately 15% of the U.S.’s carbon dioxide emissions. Protecting these spaces has a huge impact on greenhouse gases, providing a double-benefit- both absorption but also preventing future emissions from development of these spaces if they were not conserved.

Earth Day Staunton 2019

An unprecedented global pandemic has canceled most of this year’s celebrations but there are still ways that you can celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day from home.

Earth Day Bingo- Place An ‘X’ Over What You Have Done

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Earth Day Coloring Sheet for Kids!

Backyard Scavenger Hunt!

You can find more information about Earth Day 2020 and find virtual activities here.

Sources include EarthDay.org and the Land Trust Alliance.