Teri Vance: Earth Day celebrations planned

Jason Gardner competes in the newspaper toss during the End of Bike Week Party on Friday evening in McFadden Plaza.

Jason Gardner competes in the newspaper toss during the End of Bike Week Party on Friday evening in McFadden Plaza.

Carson City Parks, Recreation and Open Space is teaming up with Muscle Powered for a special Earth Day trash mob next Saturday.

The day will begin 10 a.m. at the East Silver Saddle Ranch. Participants will have an opportunity to meet with Carson City Parks, Recreation, and Open Space staff, learn the 7 principles of Leave No Trace from the Park Ranger.

You’ll also hear what the plans are for developing the area to make it more family friendly.

“Then we’ll scramble and spend an hour clearing out trash,” said Muscle Powered’s Donna Inversin.

Muscle Powered will provide trash bags, gloves, and pick up sticks. Closed toed shoes are required. Long pants and long sleeves are recommended.

As I’ve been writing about Earth Day events this year — check out the Historical Society’s Earth Festival at the Foreman-Roberts House on April 22 — I started thinking about the origins of the day.

I assumed it was relatively recent as I don’t remember ever hearing about it or celebrating it when I was growing up.

However, upon doing a little research — and by that I mean Googling it — I found out it started in 1970, before I was even born.

Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin organized it as a way to bring attention to what he felt was being ignored by media and politics. An estimated 20 million people, and students from 2,000 colleges, nationwide attended festivities that day.

It’s now an annual event celebrated worldwide on April 22. More than 192 countries plan festivities in recognition of the day.

When I think about it, I’m sure the reason I never heard about it is because of where I’m from. You don’t have a lot of “environmentalists” in Elko County — especially not in the outlying areas where I was raised.

I used environmentalists in quotes because I would classify ranchers, farmers and hunters as environmentalists, or at least as invested stewards of a healthy earth.

But the term “environmentalist” is a politicized word, as is Earth Day, I think.

Which brings me to my somewhat long-winded point. While we may disagree on why or how, we can all agree taking care of the environment is important.

Anyone who has gone four-wheeling out in our open deserts can attest to the garbage that’s collected out there. It’s gross.

Then there’s the air and water pollution that isn’t so easy to see.

With so much division in politics, it can be tempting to cling to soundbites and name-calling, but we can do better. We should be doing better.

Rather than aligning out beliefs with a certain party system, we should be aligning with our own moral compass. Just do the right thing.

So my invitation to everyone, no matter where you fall on the political spectrum, is to do what you can to make this Earth a better place to live.

Teri Vance is a journalist, freelance writer and native Nevadan. Contact her with column ideas at terivance@rocketmail.com.


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