By Michael Mell
April 22, 1970, the first “Earth Day,” is considered by many to mark the beginning of the environmental movement in the U.S. Initially linked to the Vietnam anti-war movement, it has continued as a focal point for discussions about the environment. Created by then–Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, the first Earth Day was billed as a “national teach-in on the environment.” An estimated 20 million people gathered across the country that day to demonstrate for greater environmental awareness. Twenty years later, Nelson organized another large campaign and an estimated 200 million people, world-wide, participated. In 1995, President Bill Clinton awarded Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the highest honor given to civilians in the U.S.) for his efforts as Earth Day founder.
What can you do for the planet?
Earth Day Network, an organization devoted to environmental principals says that Earth Day is a “day for action; a chance to show how important the environment is to you.” Among the activities suggested on their website are: attend an Earth Day event, organize an event, organize a “day of service,” organize a clean-up event. Many of these are represented in activities and events on and around this year’s Earth Day (April 22) in Philipstown.
Thursday, April 19
Eating Here: A Very Local Earth Day Meal Earth Day Celebration
Garrison’s Fresh Company will prepare A Very Local Earth Day Meal at the Garrison Institute. Guy Jones of Blooming Hill Farm, a local farmer and forager, will be there to tell stories about farming in the Hudson Valley. This is the third annual Earth Day event hosted by the Garrison Institute in collaboration with Fresh Company
The convivial dinner will be served in the wood-paneled dining room at Garrison Institute. Everyone will sit at communal mission tables and serve themselves from a generous buffet. All the ingredients (except salt & coffee beans) will be sourced within 60 miles of the Institute. Wine will be served at dinner. Much of the produce will be from Blooming Hill Farm. Here’s the menu:
Local cheese board with bread
Pork and chive meatballs
Roasted chicken with green garlic and butter
Polenta with greens, spring onions and cheese
Roasted mushrooms & Jerusalem artichokes
Mixed green salad
Yogurt-herb dressing or red wine vinegar
Cornbread and butter
Maple-apple slices, cold cream
Coffee Labs coffee
Earth Day Celebration at Bear Mountain Zoo: Feed the bears
Celebrate Earth Day and springtime with some family-friendly and earth-friendly fun at Trailside Museums and Zoo at Bear Mountain State Park on from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The rain date is April 22, same time. Come at 10:30 and you can help make treats for the bears, and then watch as they come out of their dens to gobble them up at 11. Nature-related displays, activities and games, plus some tips to help in looking after Mother Earth. Trailside interpreters will be on hand to help visitors learn about the animals and other exhibits.
Call 845-786-2701 x293 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. There is not a separate admission fee for the zoo. Donations are welcome. There is an $8 parking fee at Bear Mountain State Park.
Saturday, April 21
Bindlestick Bill commemorates Earth Day
Children’s entertainer Bill Fiore (Bindlestick) will present a program commemorating Earth Day from 11 am. to 1 p.m. at the Howland Cultural Center in Beacon. Tickets: children free; adults: $8.
Sunday, April 22
Little Stony Point Clean-up
Honoring and raising awareness of nature’s delicate balance, people all over the world will be spending the day cleaning, pruning and planting. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m there will be trash buckets and pickers available at Little Stony Pointfor anyone willing to put in a couple hours cleaning up the park and beach. Three shifts will gather at the Caretaker’s House: at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Light refreshments will be provided. Bring gloves and thick-soled shoes.
Earth Day Event to Combine Riverfront Cleanup and Creative Art Program
Celebrate Earth Day along the Hudson. Scenic Hudson invites river enthusiasts on Sunday, April 22, from 1-4 p.m. to participate in a family-friendly shoreline cleanup at Long Dock Park in Beacon. Immediately following the volunteer effort, the kids can work with artists from Mill Street Loft to create art pieces that celebrate nature.
Mill Street Loft, which provides award-winning multi-arts programming in Scenic Hudson’s River Center at Long Dock Park, will host the creative activity in the River Center. Art instructors from Mill Street Loft will work with children to create Earth flags, which combine fabric and painting to express wishes for Mother Earth on Earth Day. Further information is available on the Scenic Hudson website.