April 19, 2017
The University of Montana Western’s Terra Verde Club and Beaverhead Recycling are celebrating their ninth annual Dillon Earth Day Festival on April 22 at Depot Park.
This year’s Dillon Earth Day Festival will begin with a morning clean-up. Volunteers will scour the town for trash. After beautifying the burg, participants will be treated to a lunch provided by Los Koritas restaurant.
Montana Western student Theresa Galhouse is one of the main organizers of the event. Galhouse said, “The air we breathe is the environment, so I want to take care of it. It is important for everyone to understand that caring for the environment is essentially investing in their own future. .”
Along with a free lunch, every contributor will be entered into a raffle to win prizes from local businesses. There will also be live music, games, and activities.
“There will be speakers that include at least one Western professor and singers consisting of some current and retired Western faculty,” Galhouse said.
In addition, “We are incorporating the Earth Day 2017 theme of education and climate literacy into our event by having a number of different local and regional organizations host educational and interactive booths with an environmental focus.”
As Galhouse said, the Earth Day Network’s theme for this year is environmental and climate literacy. 2020 will mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and the network have created huge goals they wish to accomplish by the milestone date.
Galhouse said, “Students, and everyone in the Dillon community are invited to participate in Earth Day. Everyone has the power to make a positive difference in the environment.”
The very first Earth Day took place on April 22, 1970. It was inspired by marine biologist Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring,” a best-seller that spawned the modern environmental movement and led to a nation-wide ban on the pesticide DDT.
The idea for a national Earth Day was originated by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson. After witnessing the passion of anti-war protesters, Nelson was inspired to harness the youth of America to demand new environmental legislation.
At the inaugural event, 20 million people participated in protests around the country, demanding government intervention to protect the environment from toxic dumps, pollution, habitat destruction, wildlife extinction and several other dangerous business practices of the time.
By the end of the year, The Environmental Protection Agency was established and the Clean Water, Clean Air, and Endangered Species Acts were passed.
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