According to an article in The Old Farmer’s Almanac, Earth Day started in 1970 when San Francisco activist John McConnell and Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson separately asked Americans to join in a grassroots environmental demonstration. McConnell chose the spring equinox, March 21, 1970, and Nelson chose April 22. Millions of people participated, and today Earth Day continues to be widely celebrated with events on both dates.
Though the most common way to celebrate Earth Day is to plant trees, think about visiting Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation’s outreach booth at an Earth Day event sponsored by the Sierra Club on Wednesday, April 15. INHF staff members will be at the NW Community Center, 5110 Franklin St., Des Moines, at 6:30 p.m. They will promote a 3-day event called the Loess Hills Prairie Seminar in late May and to show appreciation of The Central Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club’s $1,000 pledge to INHF’s Turin Prairie addition.
Turin Prairie, located midway between Sioux City and Council Bluffs, in Monona County, is a 467-acre addition to Turin Loess Hills State Preserve and Wildlife Management Area. This prairie creates a 1,000-acre block of protected wildlife habitat composed of native prairie, woodland with bur oak and an area to be planted to more prairie over time.
Other ways to party with INHF for Earth Day:
- Consider attending the North Iowa Green Expo in Clear Lake. The event runs from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 16. Sample fresh food, learn how to help injured wildlife and find healthier food, homes and lifestyles for your family. Various exhibitors, including INHF, will be present with information at the Surf Ballroom. Register here or contact INHF Board Chair Jan Lovell at 641-357-2111.
- Don’t miss a chance to volunteer for Earth Day, either. Join INHF, Clear Lake Earth Days and Former Miss Iowa Robin Wolfram to pick up trash in the Ventura Cove Woods on Saturday, April 18, at 10:00 a.m. This event is part of RAVE, an INHF program created to get people directly involved with their natural areas. No registration is necessary, but you can contact INHF Volunteer Coordinator Mary Runkel with any questions.
- INHF staff members will join Central College’s Biology Professor Russ Benedict to lead a group of students in the annual Central Service Day on Tuesday, April 21. Students will help with brush removal on an INHF-owned property that contains open prairie and oak savanna in Marion County, during which they will learn about land conservation and stewardship techniques.
Now, take a deep breath, get outside and enjoy spring renewal.