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Earth Day: Uniting the World & Our Neighborhoods

Written by Michaela Molter
    Thursday, 29 March 2018
Earth Day: Uniting the World & Our Neighborhoods

Did you know Earth Day was first celebrated in the United States nearly fifty years ago? This annual event, which began on April 22, 1970, was proposed as a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace by Senator Gaylord Nelson, Denis Hayes, and Paul Erlich. Twenty years later the event went global. Today, more than one billion people in nearly 200 countries participate internationally in Earth Day activities each year!

edos blog 2018 1As the largest civic observance in the world, individual community members, organizations and businesses have the opportunity to participate in this day to advance global environmental awareness and show support for a new, growing environmental paradigm.

At the Urban Ecology Center, we strive to highlight the importance of this day by hosting an Earth Day of Service - a morning of Earth-friendly activities that anyone and everyone is welcome to participate in at all three of our branch locations: Washington Park, Menomonee Valley and Riverside Park. The various activities include litter clean-up, native plant species planting, site preparation for future land reclamation, invasive species removal, and park path maintenance. All of these activities help protect our public park lands and work to improve water quality, groundwater protection, prevent flooding, improve air quality, produce habitat for wildlife, and connect individuals to nature!

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People value our parks and outdoor spaces for so many reasons: to get healthy and stay fit, walk their dogs, and picnic with friends and family, just to name a few. A study by Penn State University showed significant correlations to reductions in stress, lowered blood pressure, and perceived physical health to the length of stay in visits to parks. Public parks also generate money for the local economy and create jobs. Additionally, a city's quality parks are one of the top three reasons that business cite in relocation decisions, according to a number of studies.

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All in all, it is essential to maintain clean, quality parks in Milwaukee and cities throughout the world - the value of these shared outdoor spaces is beyond measure. Parks provide a sense of public pride and cohesion to every community. This Earth Day, we hope to see you, your friends and family members at our parks helping unite the community, beautify our outdoor spaces, and strength the support for environmental awareness!

A big thank you to our Earth Day of Service Sponsors:

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Michaela Molter

Michaela Molter

Michaela began her days at the UEC as a volunteer, assisting the Land Stewardship team with buckthorn removal, tree and shrub planting as well as seed collecting and cleaning.  In 2013, she joined the Stewardship team as the UEC Washington Park Branch Land Steward.  Aside from her passion for land management, Michaela enjoys cooking, vegetable gardening and traveling around the United States as well as internationally.  She takes any and all opportunities to explore the outdoors.  When possible, she volunteers with local triathlon clubs with event/race set up, aid station dispenser or simply as the ultimate cheerleader.

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