Dear Mom: More chances to save the earth

Anybody remember Earth Day? Demonstrations against the war in Vietnam occupied the news on April 22, 1970, when Senator Gaylord Nelson’s national environmental protest took place. He wanted "to shake up the political establishment and force this issue onto the national agenda.” Twenty million Americans took to the streets, parks, and lecture halls that day to advocate for a cleaner, healthier, sustainable environment.
Unfortunately, the need for awareness of potential pending environmental catastrophes did not end with the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. Earth Day continues to be celebrated across the nation each spring on and around April 22.
In Charlottesville, UVA’s Student Environmental Action is spearheading a week of Earth Day activities in which all members of the community are invited to get involved. Among the planned events are a number of family-friendly opportunities to get up close and personal with Mother Nature and efforts to protect her.
Folks can help build trails with Student Alliance for Virginia’s Environment, create a bog garden at Booker T. Washington Park with Charlottesville Parks and Recreation, or take a Saturday morning hike with UVA’s Outdoor Club.
The solar house that won UVA’s architecture and engineering schools national recognition in the Solar Decathlon competition in Washington, D.C., last fall will be open and on display at its construction site in Crozet.
A benefit concert and open mic poetry reading are planned for Saturday evening. On Sunday, the earth-based spirituality group NatureSpirit will not surprisingly share ideas about nature and spirituality.
The week winds up with an information and trade fair on the actual Earth Day, April 22. From 10am-5pm, Newcomb Hall Plaza will be buzzing with community groups and activist organizations including Twin Oaks Community, Amazon Herb Company, the Nature Conservancy, UVA Recycling, and Integral Yoga.
EcoHouse, a new campus organization trying to create alternative, environmentally conscious living arrangements, will offer a workshop at the fair from 11am-1pm. City council member Kevin Lynch, Alexis Ziegler from Trade Local, and Stratton Salidis of Alternatives to Paving will discuss the interface of ecology, economics, and governmental policy-making from 3-5pm.
Earth Week 2003 offers the chance to inspire the next generation with environmental consciousness. There is still much to be done.

Earth Week 2003: Citizens of the Earth takes place April 18-22 at various locations around town. A complete schedule of events is listed on the Student Environmental Action website: www.student.virginia.edu/~enviact.

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