Following events such as the release of the book “Silent Spring” in 1962, a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara in 1969, and the burning of the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio, the idea for Earth Day was born. Senator Gaylord Nelson wanted to channel the energy from anti-war protests into a public conscious of water and air pollution. He chose April 22 as the annual date of Earth Day in order to maximize the amount of college students that could participate around spring break and final exams. In 1970, The United States celebrated the first earth day with hopes to bring environmental issues into the public eye and onto the legislative platform. Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the passage of Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts later in 1970. In 1990, Earth Day went global to include 141 countries and over 200 million people. Currently, it is the largest and most widely celebrated secular observance in the world. Want to get involved? Join Earth Day Coalition for EarthFest 2017 at Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds on Saturday, April 22 from 10-5. Celebrate the Year of Vibrant Green Space at Ohio’s largest environmental education event and the longest running Earth Day celebration in the nation. EarthFest will feature over 270 exhibitors in exhibit areas including Vibrant Green Space, Clean Transportation, Clean Water, Community Works, Environmental & Energy Science, Family Fun, Green Home & Garden, Health & Fitness and Local & Sustainable Food. Become a member of the Arbor Day Foundation and receive 10 free trees, plant 10 rain forest trees and get a t-shirt, or plant 10 trees in our nation’s forests. Visit www.arborday.org for more information. As always, we can participate every day by recycling, conserving energy, and reducing our carbon footprint on the earth. Photo caption: The Cuyahoga River, then and now. The Clean Water Act has significantly improved the cleanliness and functionality of the river.