earth-day-300x300Did you know that the reason Earth Day has been celebrated on April 22 every year since
1970 is because Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, wanted to schedule his
“environmental teach-in” around college coeds’ spring breaks, exams and religious holidays?

Mr. Nelson’s scheduling strategy worked: Over 20 million people participated in that very
first Earth Day. By now, over one billion people from around the world join each year to
commemorate this important environmental awareness event.

Earth Day started as a result of growing understanding of environmental concerns – and the
massive 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California (the third-largest oil spill in U.S. history
behind the disastrous 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska and the mother of all oil spills, the 2010
BP Deepwater Horizon spill, whose 3rd anniversary is also coming on April 20).

Earth Day Canada – Free lesson plans

Earth Day was first held in Canada in 1980 in Kingston, organized by a Queen’s University
student, Flora MacDonald, MP and Ken Keyes, Kingston Mayor. Now EDC is a national
environmental organization which awards generous scholarships and grants for students and
businesses.


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EDC also provides excellent free educational resources for kids and teachers at
www.ecokids.ca with great kids’ games, news, kids forum, contests, book lists, homework help
and action alerts. And for our teachers out there, EDC’s Ecokids offers free lesson plans in
English, French, ESL/FSL, printables, plus class kits, book lists, activity sheets and more.

Celebrate Earth Day This Year

I hope that you and your children will take part in whatever earth day activities take
place at school or in your community. Here’s a list of this year’s Ontario Earth Day
events at Earthday.ca

And now please join me in singing the official Earth Day Anthem – to the tune of Beethoven’s
“Ode to Joy”. Come on now, sing along!


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Joyful joyful we adore our Earth in all its wonderment
Simple gifts of nature that all join into a paradise
Now we must resolve to protect her
Show her our love throughout all time

With our gentle hand and touch
We make our home a newborn world
Now we must resolve to protect her
Show her our love throughout all time
With our gentle hand and touch
We make our home a newborn world