Earth Day celebrated by local groups

MARQUETTE — April 22 may not mean a lot to some people, but for one local group, it is a very important day and deserves to be celebrated.

Today is Earth Day and all across the country there are events going on to celebrate the environment and educate people on the importance of protecting it. In Marquette, students from Northern Michigan University’s Outdoor Recreation program put on a community event to raise environmental awareness and celebrate Earth Day.

The MooseWood Nature Center hosted the third annual event for the public where various student organizations and local watershed districts were there to answer some questions.

“We’re here celebrating Earth Day just because as an organization, what we do is we work to help with the quality of the water in Lake Superior, Lake Huron and Lake Michigan with the partnership. We are all about learning about the watershed and about teaching people about how the water they use will eventually flow back into Lake Superior or Lake Michigan,” said Elizabeth Dow from Lake Superior Watershed Partnership. “So just educating people about being really cautious with the things that they are using in the water, rather than just using a ton of extra fertilizer and everything that may not be necessary. It’s just really important because we only have one Earth to live on,” added Dow.

The family friendly event provided information for people as well as had some hands on activities for kids of all ages to participate in.

“We’re just hoping to bring people together and have people recognize that we live in a vast and awesome environmental area. We have a lot of outdoor resources and we just want people to get outside and take advantage of them,” said event organizer Evan Dunbar.

Earth Day began in 1970 and led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency as well as the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts. The environment was just starting to become a concern back then with the surge in oil consumption and today, these issues are talked about in households across the country.

“There’s a lot of environmental issues going on in today’s world and we want to bring that to light and get our entire society moving forward working towards a greener, more environmentally friendly society,” added Dunbar.

The outdoors are such a vital part of life here in the Upper Peninsula and Earth Day is just one more reason to get outside and enjoy it.

“I think it’s important to celebrate Earth Day because we live in such a beautiful environment, especially in the Upper Peninsula and it’s really important to protect it and educate others. This is our only place we get to spend our time and so we need to celebrate it and take advantage of the things we are given,” said Dow.

If you missed this years Earth Day celebration, have no fear. The group says they plan to host and continue to grow the event each year.