Celebrating Mother Earth

Earth Day events continue to grow locally as residents focus on sustainability

Pam Maloney reads a story to five-year-old Annabelle Johnson at an Earth Day event in Plattsburgh.

Pam Maloney reads a story to five-year-old Annabelle Johnson at an Earth Day event in Plattsburgh. Photo by Stephen Bartlett.

PLATTSBURGH — Rain fell steadily and the air was cool as live music swept through the Plattsburgh Farmers and Crafters Market pavilion.

Children and adults danced around the room and filtered in and out of the groups gathered to mark the area’s fourth annual Earth Day Celebration.

“A group of random people in the community go together to form Earth Day events,” said Sarah Cronk-Duquette, one of seven committee members. “We are trying to focus on water and the arts this year.”

The annual celebration is hosted by Earth Day Every Day, in conjunction with the Plattsburgh Community Garden and the Red Hummingbird Foundation.

“We want to raise community awareness so the next generation is less wasteful and more Earth conscious,” said Peggy McCartney, a local teacher and committee member.

Her students participated in Earth Day projects and made posters to help make them more aware of the Earth and natural resources.

Earth Day is held each year worldwide to increase awareness and appreciation of the Earth’s natural environment. It is celebrated in more than 175 countries.

In 1969, John McConnell pioneered the name and concept of Earth Day, suggesting the first day of spring the following year.

A separate Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in on April 22, 1970. He was inspired by the massive oil spill in 1969 in Santa Barbara, California.

In 1990, Dennis Hayes organized events in 141 nations.

An array of organizations from the North Country provided tables at the Earth Day event in Plattsburgh, including the U.S. Coast Guard, Cornell University Cooperative Extension, Friends of Point Au Roche State Park, Medical Reserve Corps, Rota Studio and Gallery, Food Shelf, Earthwood and the Clinton County Historical Association.

There were also various art projects for children to partake in, as well as a reading station.

Paul Bardis, one of the committee members, said one focus is a sustainable community, which will in turn help make the Earth sustainable. He said that personally, he works to increase the quality of his own life and those of the people around him.

“It’s about taking a moment to celebrate what we have here,” Bardis said. “Sometimes we don’t know these amazing things are here.”

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