‘If our cities don’t work, America won’t work.’ – Senator Gaylord Nelson
On April 22nd, 1970, Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson asked Americans to join him in a grassroots demonstration. Concerned about oil spills and increased air pollution, Senator Nelson encouraged Americans to spread awareness about the negative impact we had on our environment. About 20 million Americans across the country gathered in their local parks, streets and auditoriums to speak as one.
Three months later, this one-day event led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Determined to make a difference, the agency succeeded in passing the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. This outstanding achievement marked April 22nd as the first official Earth Day.
Now Earth Day is considered a worldwide event to honor our planet and advocate for a healthier environment.
Last week the City of Houston held a three-day event to honor Earth Day and announce the passing of the Houston Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights (COBOR). Launched by the Houston Mayor’s Office of Education and Youth Engagement, this bill includes 12 rights that give Houston youth equal access to nature. Houston organizations like Legacy Community Health have signed on as proud allies.
April 17th speakers gathered to discuss the effects of climate change, tree mitigation and environmental justice.
April 18th Mayor Turner signed a mayoral proclamation recognizing the bill. The ‘father of environmental justice’ himself, Dr. Bob Bullard, attended to show his support.
April 19th the City of Houston celebrated this great initiative in front of City Hall with outdoor activities and performances.
Houston is working hard to ensure our neighborhoods are greener and cleaner. To join in on the Earth Day fun, here are a few suggestions:
- Plant a garden.
- Advocate for change.
- Become a volunteer.
- Connect with your community! Check out what events are going on in your neighborhood.
For more information on how you can treat the Earth better, click the link here!