Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day
Today, April 22, 2020, marks the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. Through the years, this day has taken on the context of the time in which it’s celebrated. I looked up a newscast by Walter Cronkite on the first Earth Day in 1970—which I remember well—and was simultaneously thankful for how far we’ve come in our awareness of our natural environment and saddened by the fact that we are still not fully addressing deep concerns of the past and those that have come to light in the years since.
This Earth Day, April 22, 2020, is distinctly different. It’s quiet, and for many of us, the frenetic pace of the world has slowed down. There will be no official gatherings or celebrations to honor this place we call home; no group hikes on your favorite trail or in your favorite park or forest; no community cleanups of your favorite creek. We will be observing in line with the necessities of the times we are experiencing.
In crises, there is opportunity. That’s why Earth Day was created in the first place. Hopefully that will not mean that we lose this chance to take pause and consider the Earth on its day. In environmental organizations we used to say, “Earth Day Every Day.” While daily gratitude and action is the best way to honor that which we hold dear, our daily pace usually means we need a day to focus our attention. And today is that day.
So I hope you will take the time to pay attention to your local environment and think of ways to improve it. Whether you pick up trash in your neighborhood or on a local trail, plant some trees in your garden, weed out invasive plant species, or do something else, please take time to celebrate your connection to this Earth.
At the Brandywine Conservancy—your Conservancy—our mission has been centered on this special part of the Earth for the past 53 years. Concerned local citizens created us and concerned local citizens sustain us to this day.
The Conservancy is a reflection of our supporters, and we are still working as diligently as ever with you to protect the special places we call home. Whether it’s assisting a landowner to conserve their land; protecting prime agricultural soils; stewarding the easements entrusted to us over all these years; helping communities plan for their future; managing the natural resources and educational opportunities at our Preserves; or creating forums where we can all learn something new—we are in it together, preserving the land and water in our region.
So today on this Earth Day, as we all take a moment to express our gratitude to the “Pale Blue Dot,” as Carl Sagan called it, please accept this quiet note of thanks for all that you’ve done with and for the Brandywine Conservancy over the years to protect our place on this Earth.
We hope you will continue to support us in the decades ahead. Since our work is “in perpetuity,” the charge of the Conservancy’s mission will continue to live on in the protection of this beautiful part of the country—and this beautiful part of the Earth—as long as you are there to support it.
With much gratitude and thoughts for your health and safety,
and the staff of the Brandywine Conservancy