By David Fleet
Atlas Twp. — It’s been more than a half century since the first Earth Day and the message of environmental awareness was proclaimed.
“We need to take care of what we have,” said Patty Plant, local residents and business owner who each year spearheads a cleanup initiative in Atlas Township and Goodrich. “It’s what we owe this world we all live in, it’s just as simple as picking up trash or planting a tree or recognizing the amazing natural environment.”
From the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970 the annual celebration honors the achievements of the environmental movement and raises awareness of the need to protect Earth’s natural resources for future generations.
Locally at 9 a.m., April 22, residents will gather at the Goodrich United Methodist Church, 8071 S. State Road, Goodrich clean up for the Village and Atlas Township.
For the past three decades, Larry Kodosky a Brandon Township resident, served as a geology and natural sciences instructor at Oakland Community College.
“Earth Day events and activities are designed to raise awareness of the need for environmental stewardship and sustainable development,” said Kodosky. “However, after the conclusion of Earth Day festivities, many people aren’t aware of the numerous ways they can continue to further the goals of Earth Day.”
April is Global Citizen Science Month.
“Citizen science projects promote public participation in science throughout the year. It’s a great way for individuals or groups to maintain their commitment to the ideals of Earth Day,” he said. “The data gathered by citizens and scientists can identify and help solve local, national, and global problems.
Projects include reporting changes in the weather and climate in your area, monitoring local air or water quality, and reporting your sightings of birds or other wildlife. Engaging projects are available for all ages and abilities, including outdoor and indoor activities. Check out websites citizensciencemonth.org and scistarter.org list thousands of established citizen science projects seeking participants. Individuals and communities can also register their original projects or events at scistarter.org.
“Citizen science projects are open to everyone; the only requirement is a curious mind,” he said.
Kodosky emphasized the earth system is a dynamic interplay of light, air, land, water, and life. Ongoing scientific research, aided by citizen scientists, can improve our understanding of how changes in one part of the Earth system, such as increased atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, will likely affect other parts of the Earth system, including humans and their environments.
“Gathering and sharing scientific knowledge enable a fuller understanding of the world and provide humans with the information to take action, should they choose, to achieve Earth Day’s goals of environmental stewardship and sustainable development,” he said.
Areas will be assigned, contact Patty Plant at Cranberries (810) 636-3409.
By David Fleet