Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Healing the Earth with Service


As the temperature warms and the flowers bloom, allowing people to take the time to stop and smell the proverbial roses, across the world people are celebrating the beauty the Earth graciously offers. Fittingly, Earth Day always falls during this spring awakening, providing a perfect opportunity for communities around the world to celebrate the Earth and environment. With over 1 billion people from around the world gathering on April 22, 2010, to commemorate Earth Day, a great way to show your appreciation and dedication to preserving the environment is through service projects.

Organizations all over the United States are arranging service projects to celebrate the 40th annual Earth Day. The Earth Day Network (EDN) has announced a Global Day of Service on April 17-18, 2010, in honor of Earth Day. The EDN arranged projects, taking place in parks, beaches, schools, and forests, focusing on climate change solutions such as tree planting, water protection, urban gardens, and more. The activities are available to people of all ages and will encourage green volunteering.

Projects include a variety of activities, ranging from gardening, to cleaning up a local park, to recycling collections. The Green Education Foundation is teaming up with the Earth Day Network for the Green Thumb Challenge, a worldwide event of youth gardening. As the largest youth gardening initiative in history, GEF is calling for schools and youth groups to plant 10,000 gardens of any size in 2010 in commemoration of Earth Day 2010.
There are also a number of organizations hosting local opportunities for service in their communities:

  • Chattanooga, TN: The Art of Recycling Contest began in February, leading up to an Earth Day Weekend celebration. Lead by the Chattanooga Department of Education and the 2009-2010 Leadership Chattanooga class, recreation centers across the city have been working on “Recycled Art” projects, made from recyclables collected at the centers. The contest entries will be displayed during Earth Day weekend.
  • Washington, D.C. – The District of Colombia lined up a number of service projects for locals. For example, participants can choose to clean up trash in the area surrounding the Potomac Watershed, or pick up litter and trash at the National Zoo, or participate in trail clean-up in Manassas, VA.
  • Denver, CO – Outward Bound and the Denver Parks and Recreation will be organizing a South Platte River Restoration, where they will work on willow thinning, transplanting, trail work, and planting.
  • California – The California State Parks Association, along with PG& E will host Earth Day Restoration and Clean-up programs throughout the state. Activities include tree planting, restoring trails and wildlife habitat, and cleaning up beaches and park lands.
    There are also Earth Day service events happening internationally:
  • Netherlands - Communities in the Netherlands are hosting events such as seed planting at local schools, and making candles out of recycled candles and more
  • Philippines – Citizens of the Philippines can gather together for a Mangrove planting to celebrate Earth Day in Dapitan City
  • GreenSkate – A number of countries, including Canada, Argentina and Chile are hosting GreenSkate events. Long-board skateboarders plan to take to the streets and skate through their cities, promoting energy and environment issues, as well as show skateboarding as an energy efficient mode of transportation.
Do you have a service project planned for Earth Day? Please share your stores in the comments below!
Photo courtesy of Greenzer.com

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