Are you old enough to remember the first Earth Day?  I was a senior in high school in a farming community in North Dakota where fresh air, clean water, and abundant good food surrounded us.

Get our free mobile app

Early Days Of Earth Day

The problems of pollution and a pressing need to "save the planet" seemed pretty alien from my first-hand account.   But we saw the pictures and we heard the stories so I'm pretty sure we went out and planted a tree.  I say "pretty sure" because Earth Day started in 1970, 52 years ago and my memory gets shorter as the years pile up!  Today Earth Day includes a wide range of events coordinated globally by EarthDay.org involving 1 billion people in more than 193 countries.

But you really wouldn't know that by an internet search for Earth Day activities around here.

Where did the green glow go?

What's up Yakima?

Where are the neighborhood clean-ups?  Where are the reduced fees at the landfill?  Where are the hands-on activities for kids?  Where are the lessons on recycling, organic gardening, and water conservation?  Yakima used to promote all of that kind of stuff but if it is on the schedule for this year I couldn't find it.

What we do have is is a few traditional Earth Day activities at the Cowiche Canyon Conservancy Saturday, April 23, at the West Entrance to the Canyon

Take a family-friendly stroll through Cowiche Canyon to learn about some of the amazing life and phenomena found here. Take breaks at themed learning stations to learn about the butterflies, birds, and plants that make Cowiche Canyon their home.

Cowiche Canyon Activities

Learning stations are fun for kids and adults alike, and include:
  • Birds – Learn how to spot, identify, and listen for local birdlife – with Jerred Seveyka & team (Yakima Valley College)
  • Bugs, Worms, and Other Cool Squirmy Things – Get your hands dirty exploring the world of macroinvertebrates living in Cowiche Creek – with Zac Zacavish (Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group)
  • Butterflies! – Learn about the remarkable lifecycles of butterflies – with David James (Washington State University)
  • Plants of our shrub-steppe – Plants are beautiful and amazing. Get to know some of them – with Megan Whiteside (Cowiche Canyon Conservancy)

City Council Action On Environment

We also have some local governmental action that seems to coincide with Earth Day timing and that's the Yakima City Council naming its new climate advisory board as "Sustainable Yakima."  The idea is to formulate a climate action plan to reduce climate change risks and improve environmental stability by focusing on sustainability, recycling, and energy consumption.

The Earth Day Theme

The official theme for 2022 is Invest In Our Planet and according to the Earth Day website , the investment they're talking about isn't paying the high price for a tank of gas!

The goal of the EDO’s campaign is to push aside the barriers erected by the ancient, dirty fossil fuel economy and their co-conspirators – old technologies of centuries past – and redirect attention to creating a 21st century economy that brings back the health of our planet, protects our species, and provides opportunities for all. EARTHDAY.ORG’s campaign is focused on reframing the conversation, accelerating action, and bringing us together to understand that this is within our reach if we work together. 

For more information on Earth Day 2022, the official theme, updates, and how to get involved, please visit: https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-2022/

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.