is Earth Month, April 22 is Earth Day
Let's Celebrate Our Precious Earth Every Day!
Information Courtesy of Earth Day Canada
Earth Day, which is celebrated every April 22nd, is the
largest, most celebrated environmental event worldwide. More
than six million Canadians join 500 million people in over
180 countries in staging events and projects to address local
environmental issues. In fact, nearly every school child
in Canada takes part in an Earth Day activity.
First launched as an environmental awareness event in the
United States in 1970, Earth Day (April 22) is actually celebrated
as the birth of the environmental movement. This kind of
event is a powerful catalyst for change. The first Earth
Day, spearheaded by Wisconsin Governor, Gaylord Nelson, and
Harvard University student, Denis Hayes, involved 20 million
participants in teach-ins that addressed decades of environmental
pollution. That event inspired the US Congress to pass clean
air and water acts, and to establish the Environmental Protection
Agency to research and monitor environmental issues and enforce
In 1990, two million Canadians joined 200 million people
in 141 nations in celebrating the first International Earth
Day. In many countries, the global event brought pressure
on heads of state to take part in the UN Earth Summit in
Rio de Janeiro, and to address issues such as climate change
and the world wide loss of species.
In Canada, Earth Day has grown into Earth Week and even
Earth Month to accommodate the profusion of events and projects.
They range from large public events, such as Victoria, British
Columbia's Earth Walk (5000 participants), Edmonton,
Alberta's Earth Day Festival at Hawrelak Park (30,000
participants), and Oakville, Ontario's Waterways
Clean-up (2,000 participants) to the thousands of small, private events
staged by schools, employee groups, and community groups
Earth Day Canada (EDC) is a national environmental communications
organization mandated to improve the state of the environment
by empowering Canadians to achieve local solutions. Since
1991, EDC has been coordinating Earth Day/Earth Month events
and creating successful community programs and award-winning
artistic and media projects.
EDC's vision is that Earth Day will remain Canada's
strongest positive voice in promoting constructive and sustainable
environmental values, actions, and solutions. Their goals
are to Create positive public awareness for existing and
developing environmental solutions; to Empower and Encourage Canadians to take environmental action in their communities;
to Address the challenges to Canada's environment by
working in partnership to create programs that can be delivered
by communities, organizations, and individuals; and to Foster and Maintain the positive celebration of Earth Day annually.
Canadians are concerned about how environmental degradation
and pollution is affecting their health, their quality of
life, and Canada's air, water, and wildlife. And although
we may not be able to take on the nation's problems,
we can tackle those that affect our community. By holding
an Earth Day event, we can increase awareness and take small
steps towards restoring and protecting our Earth.
Some common types of Earth Day events are: tree planting,
gardening, community clean-up, school yard clean-up, eco
field trip, nature walk, bike/walk day, reuse activity, charity
clothing drive, waste reduction program, recycling drive,
assembly, guest speaker, information display, workshop, seminar,
art display, Eco Festival/Eco Fair, reuse arts and crafts,
bird house building, play/concert performance, green clothing
day, bake sale, raffle fundraiser, and auction. The most
popular Earth Day events are: tree planting, community/school
yard/waterway clean-up, and Eco Festivals/Eco Fairs.
If you want to get involved and/or need some help in setting
up an Earth Day event, then the Earth Day Canada (EDC) programs
and resources will help you organize a successful activity,
event, or project in your organization or community. Their
mission is to improve the state of the environment by empowering
and helping Canadians to take positive environmental action.
EDC contact information is provided below.
Deciding to set up an Earth Day event requires a time commitment.
The time required depends on the type of activity you are
planning. For example, a large-scale Eco Festival will require
much more planning than setting up an information display
at the local community centre. In most cases, you need to
get together a group of committed volunteers, decide on the
type of event or activity, and get planning! Starting in
January or February should be enough time to organize a successful
Earth Day event. Although Earth Day is April 22, it is not
essential to hold your event on this day. It could certainly
be held any day throughout the year because, remember, every
day is earth day!
To get support you can contact Earth Day Canada (see below)
and/or an accredited Earth Day Coordinator in your town or
city (see below). You can also explore funding opportunities
through Environment Canada, provincial and municipal governments,
as well as local banks and foundations. If you do decide
to plan an event in your community, it is important that
you register it with EDC as it helps them track what is going
on locally, it generates publicity, and it inspires others
into positive action. Also, with April 22 falling on a week
day, most Event Organizers and Earth Day Coordinators have
found from experience that an event held on the weekend draws
a larger crowd than during the week, so that is something
to keep in mind.
For those who would like to get involved in or attend an
Earth Day event here are a few Earth Day Coordinators in
- Kathleen Zary, Saskatoon Regional Zoological Society,
1903 Forest Drive N., Saskatoon, SK S7S 1G9, phone: (306)
975-3042, fax: (306) 975-3326, e-mail: email@example.com website: www.quadrant.net/zoosociety.
- Jim Elliott, 2108 Reynolds Street, Regina, SK S4N
3N1, phone (306) 352-4804, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Royal Saskatchewan Museum, 2445 Albert St. Regina,
SK S4P 3V7, phone (306) 787-2815. See their website www.royalsaskmuseum.ca for a detailed list of Earth Day/Earth Month activities.
Some of their plans include a tree-planting, games, live
music, and a poetry contest inspired by their Life Sciences
Gallery. There are also displays from a variety of environmental
agencies and groups. Most of this will happen on Saturday,
- The Good Ideas Group, Regina, Debra Brin (306) 525-2949.
For folks interested in dealing with taking action around
- Prince Albert Earth Advocates, Celeste Boran-Fetch,
Prince Albert, SK, phone (306) 764-3068, email: email@example.com.
- EarthCare Connections, Box 2800, Humboldt, SK S0K
2A0, phone (306) 682-2407, website www.earthcare.ca. They
sponsor an Earth Day event on March 28 - pancake breakfast
with the EarthCare Balloon at St. Augustine School gym,
- Meewasin Valley Centre, 402 Third Ave. S., Saskatoon,
SK S7K 3G5, phone (306) 665-6887, www.meewasin.com.
Earth Day Canada is a registered charity and the Canadian
arm of Earth Day Network. With over 3,500 affiliated community-based
organizations and 5,000 member organizations, EDC operates
year-round to provide resources, user-friendly programs,
and networking assistance to help Canadians help the Earth.
To learn more about Earth Day Canada, including their staff,
board of directors, and accredited coordinators, visit their
website at www.earthday.ca. To contact them: phone (416)
599-1991 Ext. 107, fax (416) 599-3100, email: firstname.lastname@example.org,
or write: 111 Peter Street, Suite 503, Toronto, ON M5V 2H1.
Remember every day is an opportunity to honour our Mother
Earth! Let's show Her how much we care!