Earth Day is just around the corner – April 22 – and the global focus of the day is environmental and climate literacy. This event speaks directly to the mission of your work as parks and recreation professionals, educators, mentors, activists, community organizers and overall difference makers.
Bob Dylan said it wisely, and his words continue to echo for every generation: “The times, they are a changin’.” Our world is changing, our climate is changing, our oceans are changing, our landscapes are changing, our parks are changing and now our policies are changing. We know science and environmental literacy must be at the heart of improvement – Not just at the national level, but within and throughout your communities as well. And that’s where you come in as the real Earth Day difference makers.
And that’s where you come in as the real Earth Day difference makers.
On April 22nd, you have the unique opportunity to join a global effort to educate your community about the realities, challenges and solutions of climate change. And we want to support and encourage your important work.
Consider the following ways your organization can maximize its impact on Earth Day:
- Organize a trip to Washington, D.C. for your members to participate in the March for Science and Teach-In. The day’s program will include speeches and trainings with scientists and civic organizers, musical performances and a march through the streets of Washington, D.C. Learn more about the March for Science.
- Embrace the theme of Environmental & Climate Literacy and host your own Teach-In at your facility – open to the community – inviting local environmental experts to discuss climate change. Make sure to register your event at http://www.earthday.org/register/. Toolkits for local events and teach-ins can be found at the link above as well.
- Build and host kid-friendly programs, introducing the concepts of conservation. Some great ideas can be found at the Department of Conservation website.
- Join the national effort to reach 3 Billion Acts of Green by organizing members to locally make a difference in your parks and natural areas. Remember to register your Act at the Earth Day Network site.
- Kick off an organizational initiative to reduce paper and materials throughout your organization, programs and parks. Consider the effectiveness and sustainability of printed materials such as maps, brochures and mailers vs. virtual or digital materials.
More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. Tens of thousands of partners in 192 countries will join forces this year to advance environmental awareness and change.
Check out www.earthday.org to see the community partners from parks and recreation departments, municipalities, nonprofits, and other local and national organizations who have already joined forces to make a difference on April 22.