Carrington Research Extension Center


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Earth Day


Today, April 22, marks the 49th Anniversary of Earth Day.  More than 1 billion people in 192 countries now take part in what is the largest civic-focused day of action in the world.

The first event, started as a political movement in 1970, motivated 20 million Americans from coast to coast to demonstrate for an end to environmental pollution.  Public awareness resulted in the passage of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.

Each person can contribute to the cause by doing small things.  Collectively, these efforts will make a positive, tangible impact.

  1. Organize a cleanup day.  While we anxiously await spring, the melting snow reveals littered ditches and city parks.  Great project for a youth group or fraternal organization, and a chance to enjoy the sun while getting some exercise.
  2. Reduce plastic consumption.  Two easy ways:  do your shopping with a reusable tote and trade plastic water bottles for a refillable bottle.  Install an under-the-sink filter or a water filter pitcher, and save a bunch of money, too.  Think about how many times you have doled out a couple of dollars for a single bottle of water.
  3. Finally, plant a tree.  While tree planting has its own holiday in the name of Arbor Day, plant an extra tree for Earth Day.  North Dakota is a prairie state, so where you find trees – especially in communities and rural shelterbelts – residents have planted the trees there.  Globally, trees clean the air, stabilize soils and provide food.  Across the North Dakota landscape, we appreciate trees for protection from wind, wildlife habitat, shade from the summer sun, and for beautification.  Nature-health research reveals evidence that green spaces, even if just viewed from a window, help reduce measures of blood pressure, muscle tension, and heart rate.


Happy Earth Day.

Gerri Makay

Community Forestry Program Manager
ND Forest Service


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