Earth Day in the Northwest

Apr 4, 2017

Browns Point Lighthouse, Tacoma, WA
Credit nwpublicradio.tumblr.com Follower "Kevin"

For 2017,  Northwest communities observe Earth Day (and Earth Week), in a myriad of ways.  Here are a few events in the region during Earth Week:

In Central Washington: The Earth Day Family Festival in Ellensburg is on Saturday April 22nd and the Leavenworth Earth Day Fair is on April 23rd. The Yakima Area Arboretum has two events that week: Gardening for Bees, and a children’s gardening workshop.

In Eastern Washington, the Richland Public Library is hosting an informative event about Woody Guthrie in the Pacific Northwest on April 20th. It’s fitting this takes place during Earth Week as his songs were inspired by the region’s environment. 

Along the Washington/Idaho border, the Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute is seeking volunteers for its annual Pullman Stream Clean-Up on the 22nd.

In the Seattle area, the Pacific Science Center is offering three days of discovery at Dig In! Science in our Backyard.  The event spanning April 21-23rd features events on fossils, beekeeping, composting and more.

This list is only crust on the mantle of events happening on Earth Day.
Post your Earth Day event, or find more activities for Earth Day at: nwpr.org/community-calendar

If you're interested, below is little history about Earth Day and it's connection with the Northwest...

Earth Day began in 1970 as an environmental awareness campaign and in the 47 years since, has grown into a global effort of education and celebration of our planet Earth.

Last year, Earth Day was marked by signing of the Paris Climate Agreement. This year, it’s the March for Science in Washington D.C.

But these big Earth Day events are not monopolized by D.C.
You may remember the Northwest hosted “Earth Day 20”, in 1990, which headlined Rock and Roll legend Chuck Berry.
This archived article from the Seattle Times from 1990, reminds us of the fear and hopes - from 27 years ago:

"...the Seattle area will have the biggest Earth Day celebration on the West Coast, with the environmental fair at Redmond's Marymoor Park projected to draw 75,000 people."

The article also cites concerns about a growing population, industry in the Puget Sound, governmental environmental reforms, and the toxic waste of Hanford Nuclear Site and its impacts on the environment. 

"Since the first Earth Day in 1970, considerable progress has been made in environmental protection. Agencies have been created, laws have been passed, and some water and air pollution has been reduced.

But choking smog, growing deserts, disappearing rainforests and threats to the atmosphere are producing increasing concern that a concerted international effort is needed." 

To borrow a witty phrase from Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, "The more things change, the more they stay the same".