Celebrate Earth Day on April 22

Consider planting a tree in celebration of Earth Day this year. Trees remove carbon dioxide from the air and also help to beautify our streets – like Bradley Road when the crab apple trees blossom in spring. Photo by Tara Wendell

Friday, April 22, is Earth Day! The very first Earth Day was on April 22, 1970. This date was the beginning of the modern environmental movement, and was founded by a Wisconsin senator, Gaylord Nelson. He witnessed the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, and became inspired to find a way to get environmental protection into the national political agenda. The first Earth Day eventually led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts by the end of 1970.

What can you do this Earth Day? A simple thing would be to plant a tree! Trees do so many things for us. They help fight climate change, assist with keeping our air clean, can help you save energy, and they look beautiful. Trees help fight climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide from our air. Did you know that one large tree can absorb 48 pounds of carbon dioxide a year? Trees also absorb pollutants in the air and help filter particles out of the air by trapping them on leaves and bark. 

If you have trees properly planted around your home, you could reduce your air conditioning needs by up to 30 percent and save 20-50 percent in heating energy. In my opinion, tree-lined streets look much more inviting and pretty than streets with few trees.

In Bay Village, you can purchase trees for your tree lawn through the city. If you do this, the city will pick up the tree(s) and plant them for you. Contact the Bay Village City Arborist at 440-899-3484 for more information. In Westlake, contact the Service Department at 440-835-6432 for information about planting trees on your street. 

There are many other opportunities to celebrate Earth Day in Cleveland as well. EarthFest 2016 will be on Sunday, April 17, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds. EarthFest is Ohio’s largest environmental education event and also the longest-running Earth Day celebration in the country! This is a wonderful opportunity for families to experience biodiesel-powered amusement rides, musical entertainment, a petting zoo, hands-on environmental activities and more. Admission is $4 for ages 2-11, $8 for ages 12 and up, and free for those who ride their bike to the event.

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is hosting a “Party for the Planet” on Saturday, April 23. It starts at 10 a.m., and offers a full day of special events and activities for the whole family. They are also collecting recyclables that day, including cell phones and printer cartridges. 

Cleveland Metroparks (clevelandmetroparks.com) and Lorain County Metroparks (metroparks.cc) are hosting a variety of events, so please check their websites to find out more. Holden Arboretum is hosting an Arbor Day celebration from April 29-May 1. Activities include kids guided tree-climbing, a Great Lakes Timber show, and crafts. Please check holdenarb.org for more information.

There are many ways to celebrate Earth Day, and I hope you choose one!

Jennifer Hartzell

If you have any questions/comments for Jennifer, please feel free to email her at jennydhartzell@gmail.com.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 10:35 AM, 04.05.2016