On April 22, 1970, former Washington senator Gaylord Nelson called on Americans to observe a national “teach-in” to celebrate grassroots environmental education and remind Americans to tread lightly on this earth. Nelson’s idea appealed to Americans across political parties, economic classes, races and ethnicities, and millions participated in coast-to-coast demonstrations and rallies. And so the nation’s first Earth Day came to be.
Forty-four years later, the environmental movement has become a global phenomenon. Here in Los Angeles County, residents, community organizations, private businesses and government share a tradition of coming together to work on a variety of issues, ranging from neighborhood cleanups and restoring native habitats, to pushing for more public transportation in Los Angeles.
In recent years new challenges have emerged, including increased levels of pollution that have led to global warming. But Los Angeles County continues to strive to innovate in environmental stewardship.
And this year the Board of Supervisors continued to expand public transportation and explore the conversion of blighted, abandoned railways into bike paths and walking trails. The board also continued to expand parks and other green space across Los Angeles county and supported an official ban against plastic bags at supermarkets, small businesses, and convenient stores. The supervisors also recently voted to create a Toxic Threat Strike Team to monitor and coordinate inspections around environmental toxic sites around the county.
All residents are invited to join in celebrating and protecting our earth throughout the month of April. To celebrate Earth Day on April 22, there will be a variety of events around the county:
- On April 26th, the Roosevelt Park Senior Center will help dispose of household hazardous waste and other electronic waste.
- Also on April 26, Athens Park will host an “E-waste Roundup and Clothing Drive.”
Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said, “Regardless of how you choose to celebrate Earth Day, we encourage you to use the day as an opportunity to reaffirm your commitment to protecting our planet during the month of April and throughout the year.”