“It was a gamble, but it worked,” recalls Gaylord Nelson, senator from Wisconsin and the founder of Earth Day, about April 22, 1970.
This was the first Earth Day ever, created in a nation in which the growing ecological concerns and problems were largely ignored by the American public. It was invented to attract attention to the conservation of the nation’s many varied environments. That first holiday attracted approximately 20 million Americans, protesting, planting and realizing a common value in a world we all inhabit. Since then, Earth Day has become a global holiday involving 174 countries and well over 200 million people.
Rider will be doing its part in the celebration with games, giveaways and green activities hosted by the Energy and Sustainability Steering Committee and the Rider Eco-Reps. This year, there are other groups participating and showing their green. These groups include Greeks Go Green, Sustainable Rider and LASO. On the Lawrenceville campus, the Earth Day celebration will be held on Wednesday, April 22, 2009, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Cranberry’s Patio, unless it rains, in which case it will be in the Student Recreation Center Lobby. On the Westminster campus, it will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Great Plains and if it rains, in Thayer Lounge.
Earth Day activities are intended to educate and rekindle public commitment and involvement in positive environmental initiatives. Participation in Earth Day activities has become common in countries, local governments, businesses, neighborhoods, schools, college campuses, faith-based groups, citizen groups and individuals. Earth Day expands and strengthens networks of communities as an annual event and brings people together to inspire changes with ongoing benefits.
Although Earth Day was intended for the involvement of all ages, the date was specifically chosen by Nelson in order to involve college students. After spring break and before finals, April 22 is placed perfectly for all Broncs to enjoy.
Trevor Hewitt is one of the seven Eco-Reps chosen to represent Rider.