EDITORIAL: Helping hands for planet Earth

EDITORIAL: Helping hands for planet Earth

Today is Earth Day, the 51st such observance since this date in 1970, which is generally accepted as the birth date of the modern environmental movement. Inspired in part by a devastating 1969 oil spill in California’s Santa Barbara Channel, organizers along with politicians from both parties put together an event on that day to call attention to the need to protect the environment.

The first Earth Day led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of laws including the National Environmental Education Act, the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.  

Earth Day is now organized by www.earthday.org, which will hold an Earth Day Live digital event online at noon today. Earth Day is always marked on April 22, but related activities are carried out all week long, across the country and in dozens of Connecticut locations.

We commend the local organizations that have chosen to take time out this week to promote the goals of Earth Day.

This past Sunday, volunteers with the Wallingford Quinnipiac River Linear Trail Advisory Committee held a trail cleanup, removing trash left along the trail, clearing overgrown branches and removing an unauthorized campsite. Committee co-chair and state Rep. Mary Mushinsky said there was a good crowd of regular volunteers, high school students and civic groups assisting in the cleanup.

This morning, Meriden will plant a tree in Hubbard Park in memory of Arthur Dexter, who served as superintendent of the Parks Division for 25 years.

At noon, the CT Bottle Bill Works Coalition is holding a small, socially distant gathering at the state Capitol in Hartford to highlight their work to update Connecticut’s Bottle Bill.

On Saturday, dozens of young people with Meriden-based Ball Headz Inc., which connects youth with community service and mentoring, will meet at the Meriden Green for a park cleanup. Justin Mitchell, the organization’s founder, said he hopes to see around 50 participants, including members of high school sports teams.

Also on Saturday, the Southington Rotary Club will be holding a townwide cleanup, with volunteers meeting on the Town Green at 9 a.m. and fanning out across town until 1 p.m.

The Southington Land Conservation Trust will also be holding its own cleanup along the Farmington Heritage Canal Trail near the Burritt Street parking lot. Though volunteers will be collecting trash, tackling invasive species that have been cropping up will be part of the effort.

Kudos to all who are making an effort this week to observe Earth Day by doing something for our favorite planet.

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