The annual environmental celebration known as Earth Day will take place Saturday.
According to history.com, founded in 1970 as a day of education about environmental issues, Earth Day is now a globally celebrated holiday that is sometimes extended into Earth Week, a full seven days of events focused on green awareness.
The day is the brainchild of Sen. Gaylord Nelson and inspired by the antiwar protests of the late 1960s. Earth Day was originally aimed at creating a mass environmental movement.
By raising public awareness of air and water pollution, Nelson hoped to bring environmental causes into the national spotlight.
Since it beginnings in 1970, Earth Day celebrations have grown.
In 1990, Earth Day went global, with 200 million people in over 140 nations participating, according to the Earth Day Network (EDN), a nonprofit organization that coordinates Earth Day activities.
In 2000, Earth Day focused on clean energy and involved hundreds of millions of people in 184 countries and 5,000 environmental groups, according to EDN.
Activities ranged from a traveling, talking drum chain in Gabon, Africa, to a gathering of hundreds of thousands of people at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Today, the Earth Day Network collaborates with more than 17,000 partners and organizations in 174 countries.
According to EDN, more than one billion people are involved in Earth Day activities, making it the largest secular civic event in the world.
Earth Day Activities
Locally and across the mid-state, several activities will be taking place in observance of Earth Day.
The Tullahoma Art Center will hold several Earth Day-themed classes that will discuss how to take items from nature and turn them into art and also how to reuse and transform products into items that can be used in nature.
On Saturday at 11 a.m., art instructor Pat Hitchcox will teach students how to paint acrylic on rocks. The class fee is $15 and is open to all ages.
Local artist Tammy O’Connor will also instruct students on how to make a bottle planter. The class costs $20 and all supplies are included.
Class starts at 9 a.m.
At 11:30 a.m., the center will instruct students on how to make a hummingbird feeder out of a wine bottle. The class fee is $25, with a $20 material fee.
For more information on any of these classes, call 455-1234.
The Community Garden will also hold its opening to the public at 10 a.m. on Saturday. This is the third year of the garden.
Renée Trad, Kim Bettencourt and Ian Anderson, Tullahoma Parks and Recreation Department building and grounds manager, manage the garden and welcome the community to become involved in seeing it thrive.
“Currently we have 10-15 devoted volunteers who have been coming out to help, but we can always use more people,” said Trad.
Trad added that currently the garden has been planted with onions, radishes, swiss chard, potatoes, kale, raspberries, blueberries, tomatoes and potatoes, all of which were started from seeds provided by Trad and the other volunteers.
On the opening day of the garden, volunteers can come out and help Trad and Bettencourt plant additional vegetables.
“We will be planting on our big day, probably some squash, cucumbers and more. The great thing about the garden is the more you work, the more you get out of it,” said Trad.
For those unable to attend on Saturday, Trad said they will be scheduling hours for the next two months so that anyone who wants can help tend to the garden.
For more information, contact Bettencourt by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 843-683.-2742; or Trad by email at email@example.com or 334-450-5236.
CD Stamps is located at 810 S. Jackson St.
Music City Earth Day
Music City will also hold its own Earth Day celebration.
Nashville’s Earth Day Festival is a free, family friendly event with live entertainment throughout the day.
This year’s event will kick off at 11 a.m. at Centennial Park and will feature exhibits and hands-on activities aimed at educating people about protecting the environment and living green.
With over 100 family friendly booths hosted by community groups, environmental organizations and government agencies, Earth Day is a fun festival for all ages.
Festival highlights will include live music, a green market where locally grown produce and locally made products will be available for purchase and a beer garden featuring locally brewed beer.
Recycling and disposal drop-off opportunities will also be available with drop offs for usable clothing, shoes and books and unused or expired pharmaceuticals.
Tennessee State Parks will also hold Earth Day hikes and other opportunities throughout the day on Saturday.
Montgomery Bell State Park will hold an Earth Day wildflower hike for all levels of hiking at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
Meet Ranger Tim at the park office to discover some of the park’s spring wildflowers. This will be an easy 1-mile hike on the Jim Bailey trail.
The park office is located at 1020 Jackson Hill Road in Burns.
Chickasaw State Park will hold an Earth Day canoe float beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The cost is $20 per canoe to participate in the guided float. Minimum of two persons per canoe. Personal boats are also allowed to float for a cost of $10 per boat.
Park staff will assist with transportation from take-out to put-in. The float will begin at 10 a.m. and last approximately six hours, dependent on the water level.
Reservations may also be made by calling the park office at least 24 hours before scheduled float trip. All reservations are refundable.
For more information, call (731) 989-5141. The park is located at 20 Cabin Lane in Henderson.
For a complete list of Tennessee state park activities, visit online at tnparks.gov.