Tag Archives: Environmental Protection

Earth Day on Saturday includes old events plus new March for Science

With Earth Day falling on a Saturday this year, all sorts of environmental activities have been scheduled for this weekend. On top of your typical Earth Day activities, there will be a March for Science in Washington, D.C., as well as in Seattle and hundreds of other communities across the country.

It just seems like a great time to get out and do something. I’m hoping the weather cooperates. The National Weather Service predicts that warm weather tomorrow will give way to a low-pressure trough moving over Western Washington on Saturday. That weather system might be traveling slowly enough that the rains won’t appear until later in the day when most activities have been wrapped up in the Puget Sound region.

I should mention that Saturday also is the annual Kids Fishing Party in Gorst, which coincides with the opening of trout season. Sponsored by the Kitsap Poggie Club, the family-fun event allows youngsters to catch a fish at the fish-rearing facility at Otto Jarstad Park in Gorst. Fishing rods and bait are provided, and the Poggies will even clean the fish for cooking. For details, go to the Poggie Club’s website.

The March for Science is a new event, inspired by concerns that too many Americans fail to appreciate the importance of science in our society. Concerns are heightened this year by funding cuts for research proposed by President Trump. While many scientists would like to keep the event nonpolitical, one can’t deny the cloud of budget cuts hanging over the event, as reporter Sandy Doughton aptly describes in a story for the Seattle Times.

Tens of thousands of people are scheduled to turn out for the March for Science, which will include “satellite” demonstrations in Seattle and 14 other communities around Washington state.

For information, visit the main Facebook page about the March for Science. The site lists satellite marches for Washington state. Some events have their own Facebook page, such as March for Science — Seattle. I’ve found that the best way to track down a specific local event is to search for “March for Science — (name of community).”

The March for Science may be new, but Earth Day itself goes back 47 years with a 50th anniversary celebration scheduled for 2020. It began as a grassroots movement to spur on personal and government actions to protect the environment. Earth Day is credited with helping to create the Environmental Protection Agency along with several laws that protect human health and native species.

“Thinking about the history of environmental activism and the way individuals have worked together to change policy can make us more optimistic about the ability to make positive changes in the future,” said Susan Clayton, a professor of psychology and environmental studies at The College of Wooster in Ohio. She was quoted by Alina Bradford in a historical piece for Live Science, an online magazine.

As for specific Earth Day events this year, state and national parks will be open for free admission, and some have specific events planned. More than a dozen state parks have events on the calendar, including Manchester State Park in Kitsap County where Kitsap Master Gardeners will discuss native plants from noon to 6 p.m. For details on all the state park events, go to the state parks website.

In Olympic National Park, one Earth Day event is trail maintenance near Lake Quinault from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Check out Earth Day Volunteer Vacation for details.

Earth Day is often associated with a massive beach cleanup along the Washington Coast, but this year the cleanup has been delayed to next weekend because of the tides. To get involved, sign up for one of more than 50 cleanup sites on the Washington Coast Savers website. Last year, about 1,400 volunteers removed more than 20 tons of debris from Washington beaches.

The annual Sinclair Inlet Cleanup in Bremerton and Port Orchard also will be next week. For details, review the poster on the City of Bremerton’s website.

This year’s Earth Day events include activities associated with Bainbridge Island Earth Month (PDF 437 kb) organized by Sustainable Bainbridge:

  • Earth Day at the Farmer’s Market, including information about trees and kids’ activities.
  • Earth Day at the Kids Discovery Museum, including family activities, animals and scientific information.
  • Invasive species removal at Blakely Harbor Park, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., sponsored by Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District.
  • Second Annual Bainbridge Island Trashion Show at IslandWood with recycled and upcycled fashions. A $10-per-family donation is suggested with proceeds to benefit Zero Waste. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., show follows from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Other events in Kitsap County include:

A University of Washington Earth Day celebration, sponsored by UW Earth Club, is scheduled for tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Exhibits, speakers and music are planned on Red Square. For details, see “UW Earth Day 2017.” Other activities are listed on the UW Events Page.

Other Earth Day events in the Puget Sound region are listed on the Eventbrite website:

Earth Hour arrives this Saturday night

I admit it seems kind of quaint, but I look forward to turning out all the lights in my house once a year and sitting in the dark. It’s a time to contemplate all our marvels of technology while considering the needs of many people around the world.

Earth Hour is coming up on Saturday beginning at 8:30 p.m. The question of the hour: What can we each do to make things better?

If you get the chance, bring your family and/or friends together. You can go out to dinner or do other things before or after the designated hour, but for 60 minutes let your thoughts wander to other places in the world.

For me, that kind of reflection is enough for the moment, but the Earth Hour website talks about inspiring people to join environmental projects across the globe. By reviewing the website, Earth Hour can become a time of learning about worthwhile causes. Listen to Jason Priestly and others in the video player on this page.

If you want to make a difference, check out the five-step program for creating an Earth Hour event. Maybe think about doing something over the next year and sharing it on the Earth Hour website in 2015.

What I like about Earth Hour is that it unites people from around the world, if only for an hour. For those who wish to take a leadership role, Earth Hour is one place to start. As founder Andy Ridley says in a news release:

“What makes Earth Hour different is that it empowers people to take charge and use their power to make a difference. The movement inspires a mixture of collective and individual action, so anyone can do their part.”

Earth Hour begins each year in New Zealand, the first place the clock strikes 8:30 on the designated Saturday night.

Famous landmarks involved in the lights-out event include the Empire State Building, New York; Tower Bridge, London; Edinburgh Castle, Scotland; Brandenburg Gate, Berlin; the Eiffel Tower, Paris; the Kremlin, Moscow; and the Bosphorus Bridge connecting Europe to Asia.

See some photo highlights from previous years