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April 17, 2012 > Earth Day

Earth Day

By Julie Grabowski

Sunday, April 22 marks the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day, a worldwide event dedicated to increasing awareness and aid to preserve the natural beauty and resources of our planet, we call Earth.

After witnessing the destruction caused by the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson saw a need to raise public awareness of air and water pollution. He pitched his idea for a "national teach-in on the environment" to the media and created a staff of 85 members to promote events across the country. The inaugural Earth Day in 1970 saw millions of Americans coming together over concerns about pesticides, toxic dumps, pollution from factories and power plants, oil spills, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife. It was this bold first step that led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

Earth Day became a global event in 1990, uniting 200 million people in 141 countries and raising environmental issues to the world stage. Concerns still abound; issues including climate change and clean energy are the focus for thousands of environmental groups around the globe who work every day to make our planet a better place. Earth Day extends the theme of environmental awareness and action to everyone by promoting actions each person can take every day to protect and preserve our world.

In observance of Earth Day, local organizations will come together in an educational expo to promote a greener and friendlier environment. Presented by Washington Hospital and the City of Fremont, "Let's Go Green Together!" invites attendees to meet with eco-friendly experts to learn about recycling and waste reduction, gardening and composting, saving energy at home, sustainability programs, and healthy eating through Farmers' Markets.

A free residential drop-off for syringes and needles (in approved containers) is scheduled plus confidential document shredding, disposal of unused and unwanted medications, a mercury thermometer exchange, free lamp exchange, and donation of eyeglasses. A Farmer's Market will also be onsite offering locally grown produce.

Kids will enjoy eco-tainment, face painting, Earth Day art, and other free games and activities. For a great start to Earth Day, volunteer for the Annual Creek Cleanup from 9 a.m. to noon at Stiver's Lagoon in Central Park.

Let's Go Green Together!
Saturday, Apr 21
11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Conrad E. Anderson, M.D. Auditorium
2500 Mowry Ave., Fremont
(510) 797-1111

Ohlone College hosts a week of activities, talks, and demonstrations dealing with the state of the environment and how to live sustainably at both Fremont and Newark campuses. Visit the website for each day's event hours and details.

Earth Week
April 16 - 19
Ohlone College
43600 Mission Blvd., Fremont
39399 Cherry St., Newark
(510) 659-6000

Learn about how to care for our planet and make changes that will conserve, protect, and sustain it for future generations. Create your own litter bug, enjoy an environmental puppet show (11:40 a.m. and 3:40 p.m.) and play recycling games.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Saturday, April 21
9:30 a.m. - noon, 1:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Coyote Hills
8000 Patterson Ranch Rd., Fremont
(510) 544-3220

Discover the truths about oak trees at Lake Chabot and make the world a better place one tree at a time. Participants will receive a "Habitat Helpers" patch for their efforts. Registration is required (class code #28904). $5 parking fee per vehicle.

Habitat Helpers
Saturday, April 21
9 a.m. - noon
Lake Chabot
17600 Lake Chabot Rd., Castro Valley
1-888-327-2757 option 2

Celebrate Earth Day by responsibly disposing of unwanted electronics at Eden Gardens Elementary Electronics Recycling Event. Bring computers TVs, cellphones, and old electronics.

Eden Gardens Elementary Electronics Recycling Event
Saturday, April 21
9 a.m. - noon
Eden Gardens Elementary
2184 Thayer Ave., Hayward

Kids ages eight and up can celebrate Earth Day by creating cards, bookmarks, or signs out of recycled paper. Decorate your creation with food coloring, non-toxic paint, or leaves and flowers. Seeds can be added to a paper pulp mixture to make gifts that can be planted to grow native flowers.
Recycled Earth Day Cards
Sunday, April 22
Noon to 1 p.m.
Hayward Regional Shoreline Interpretive Center
4901 Breakwater Ave., Hayward
(510) 670-7270
Cost: $5

Join Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge and Save the Bay for Earth Day. Latex gloves and trash bags will be supplied. Wear sturdy shoes, a hat, and sunscreen, and prepare to get dirty and have fun! Reservations are required and minors must be accompanied by an adult.

Earth Day Cleanup
Saturday, April 21
9 a.m. - noon
Ravenswood Point, East Palo Alto
(510) 463-6809
(510) 792-0002
Reservations required

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