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News in Youth Services

Friday, April 17, 2015

Celebrate....Plant a Tree

On April 22, a humongous celebration is going to take place with one billion people from 180 countries around the world taking part in it. No, it's not my birthday. It's Earth Day! The Earth is a gigantic place, having a diameter of 7,926 miles and seventy-one percent of it's surface covered by water with the remainder being land surface. It's important for us all to make sure we are doing our best to take care of the Earth so that it will continue to provide for generations to come. That's why back in 1970, Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson and eco-activist Dennis Hayes organized the first Earth Day. As a result, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was formed at the end of 1970. The EPA has enacted many laws to help our environment, including the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act.

So what can I do to help the Earth you ask? You can start by making sure your family is recycling. If everyone in the United States recycled their newspapers, the lives of 41,000 trees would be spared. Did you know that one SINGLE tree can detoxify the air of up to 60 pounds of pollutants?

Which makes me think of Arbor Day on April 24th. Let me give you a quick language lesson; Arbor in Latin means "Tree Day." In 1872, J. Sterling Morton, the Secretary of Agriculture to President Cleveland, created this environmental holiday where citizens are encouraged to plant trees and care for the already existing ones. During the first Arbor Day, it is estimated that one million trees were planted on that single day! "Plant Trees" was the Morton's family motto. The legacy of the Morton family remains in Lisle, Illinois where their estate was turned into The Morton Arboretum. You totally need to check this place out and take a quiet walk on the 16 miles of hiking trails through the woods. It's an oasis of magnificent trees and beautiful landscapes.

So celebrate this beautiful planet we live on. If you see some litter as you are out for a walk, pick it up and place it in a garbage can or a recycle bin. Spring is a great time to plant a tree or enjoy the beauty of nature by checking out a Museum Pass for Cantigny Park in Wheaton or the Chicago Botanic Gardens in Glencoe.

Earth Day books
Tree books

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