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Celebrate Earth Day

April 20, 2012; 5:53 AM ET
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When is Earth Day?

This observance always falls on April 22. On Earth Day, enjoy the tonic of fresh air, contact with the soil, and companionship with nature! Walk through the woods in search of emerging wildflowers and green moss. Go outside, no matter what the weather!

Earth Day History

Ever wondered how Earth Day started? This observance arose from an interest in gathering national support for environmental issues. In 1970, San Francisco activist John McConnell and Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson separately asked Americans to join in a grassroots demonstration. McConnell chose the spring equinox (March 21, 1970) and Nelson chose April 22. Millions of people participated, and today Earth Day continues to be widely celebrated with events on both dates. The most common practice of celebration is to plant new trees.

Earth Day Ideas

● Plant trees that attract birds to your yard. See our chart on Shrubs and Trees for Birds.

● Plant wildflowers! See our article, Wild About Wildflowers.

● Go native! Plants thrive when they're natural to your area. See our article on natural landscaping.

● Bring nature into the garden with plants that attract butterflies.

● Try an organic vegetable garden. Here are tips on organic seed-starting.

● Conserve water. See our tips on a water-wise garden.

The thirsty earth soaks up the rain,

And drinks, and gapes for drink again.

The plants suck in the earth and are

With constant drinking fresh and fair.

-Abraham Cowley, English poet (1618-67)

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