On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans joined together across the country to bring awareness to the growing environmental concerns of the 20th century. Today, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of that first Earth Day.
While we can’t join together to celebrate this momentous anniversary and day of action, we can celebrate together, apart. Here are some ways you can join us to recognize Earth Day 2020:
- Get outside — safely! It's a great time to watch growth in the yard as well as in the wild. Lots of shrubs and herbs are blooming that support pollinators, and many plants are coming up that host our native butterflies. One of our staff members found several anoles, toads, tadpoles, a baby box turtle (cutest find yet), and a great blue heron in her backyard. You can even make a game of it with Backyard Bingo. Things have been difficult lately, and it can help to take some time to slow down and appreciate the wonder and beauty around us.
- Plant something native! Native plants require less water and fertilizer, help reduce stormwater runoff, and are often more pest-resistent than non-native species. Check out our guide to native plants or visit the SC Native Plant Society's website for more information. Many nurseries and garden centers in the area offer delivery or pickup so you can easily follow social distancing practices. Now is also a great time to start composting, by the way.
- Join the Great Global Cleanup. Pick up litter around your home and neighborhood. In addition to being unsightly, litter eventually ends up polluting our water supply. Be safe — wear gloves, watch for traffic, and make sure your kids are well supervised. It's an easy way to enjoy the outdoors AND give back during social distancing.
- Learn something new. Our partners in the South Carolina Conservation Coalition have been hosting weekly webinars about the environmental issues facing our state. The next webinar, called Advocacy 101, will take place on April 29. It's designed to give you the foundational skills needed to stand up for the conservation issues you care about — both in our local communities and with our elected leaders — and make sure that your voice is heard, even from home. Our team also recently shared a roundup of illuminating documentaries and books for you to enjoy during this time of social distancing.
Even though we're working from home, you can rest assured the UF team is still working hard to protect land and water resources in this special corner of Planet Earth. We are still advocating for smart growth, energy, and conservation policies at the local and state levels, and we are still dedicated to protecting what makes the Upstate a beautiful place to call home.
Thank you, as always, for your support, and Happy Earth Day!