CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Like many people, Hardin Minor began planning his idea for an Earth Day event over two years ago. Then, it was shut down a few weeks prior due to COVID-19.
His dream finally comes to fruition this Saturday, April 23 with the Charlotte Earth Day event at First Ward Park. For Minor, the environment has been a lifelong passion and he’s excited to share his passion with adults and children across the region.
“We're trying to expand everyone's awareness and understanding of the environmental calamities that we face, but also the solutions that are before us,” Minor said. “We want to inspire action, and we want to encourage good stewardship.”
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This weekend’s event will cater largely to children, but there are things for adults to do as well. Every kid who attends will receive an earth passport. They’ll attend five different knowledge stations – earth, water, fire, air, and youth leadership.
As they work their way through each station, they’ll receive a sticker to complete their scavenger hunt quest. When they complete all five, they’ll earn an Earth Day button and become an “Earth Kid!"
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The character of “Trashman” is also sure to turn a few heads. According to Minor, this is an artistic statement about trash and how much trash we dump into the oceans.
Attendees will get a chance to check out the new Mecklenburg County Air Quality Monitoring Station at the park. This SmartFlower has solar panels and looks pretty cool, too.
There will be approximately 35 exhibitors around First Ward Park for anyone to check out. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Organizers have also chosen to honor women of environmental vision and action from the Charlotte metro and surrounding areas. This event is dedicated to Anne Springs Close, a lifelong environmentalist to whom the Anne Springs Close Greenway in Rock Hill is dedicated.
The organizers have also chosen to honor dozens of other women, including Elisabeth Clarkson, the founder of Wing Haven, and Liz Hair, the first woman to be elected to the Mecklenburg County Board of County Commissioners and the first woman to chair the board.
If you’re interested in getting involved with Charlotte Earth Day or learning more about their mission, head over to their website at charlotteearthday.com!
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Beginning of Earth Day
The concept for the first Earth Day was sparked by Senator Gaylord Nelson, a junior senator from Wisconsin. According to EarthDay.org, he was concerned about the deteriorating environment in the United States – and helped bring congress, activists, and college students together to incite change.
This first Earth Day mobilized approximately 20 million Americans as they called for increased protection for our planet.
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The concept helped lead to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. Earth Day has also contributed to passing many different types of legislation over the years – including the National Environmental Education Act, the Clean Air Act, and Clean Water Act.
Since going global in 1990, over one billion people across 190 different countries have come together on Earth Day to advocate for the planet. Earth Day’s website says the goal of their event every year is “a day of action to change human behavior and create global, national and local policy changes.”
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