DEC Region 7 Announces Earth Day Events

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Every day is Earth Day at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. With 18 different divisions and nine regional offices, DEC is in the streams, the streets, the woods and the halls of government working to enhance the health and safety of New Yorkers as well as the state’s environment and natural resources.

Officially, Earth Day is April 22, a day to celebrate our planet and take part in activities beneficial to the environment. But Earth Day-related events will be ongoing through the month. To mark Earth Day 2008, DEC’s Region 7 announced the following events:

  • OCCRA Earth Day Cleanup, Friday, April 25, Onondaga County’s Resources Recover Agency sponsor’s this event every year, county-wide. Communities, businesses, and groups pick an area of the county and pickup litter. DEC Region 7 is participating by having a staff cleanup day focusing on the 600 block of Erie Blvd. West, Fayette Street and in the vicinity of the DEC Regional office. It will begin at noon and run for the entire afternoon. In addition, a separate staff clean up event will likely occur later in the summer on state land.
  • Party for the Planet-The Rosamund Gifford Zoo’s Earth Day celebration, Saturday, April 19, 10:00 am- 4:30 pm. Public Affairs and Education staff from DEC’s Region 7 will be displaying DEC and Onondaga Lake Partnership material at the event.
  • Arbor Day ceremony, City of Syracuse- April 25, 10:00 am. Regional forester Dave Sinclair and Regional Director Ken Lynch will present an award to the city, for its participation in the Arbor Day program and will participate in a tree planting event.
  • Arbor Day ceremony, Village of Oxford- April 26, 9:00 am. Senior forester Greg Owens will present an award to the village for its participation in Arbor Day.
  • Other Arbor Day awards in the region with which the DEC is involved include: city of Cortland (April 15 at 7:00 pm), National Grid (April 23), town of Manlius (April 24, 4:00 pm), village of Fayetteville (April 25, 10:30 am) and village of North Syracuse (April 25, 2:00 pm).

There are other Earth Day events in the area that DEC is not directly involved with, although staff will likely attend some of these. Events include:

  • APRIL 19: CITIZENS CAMPAIGN FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, “Syracuse’s Annual Earth Day Festival,” 2 – 5 p.m. at the Thornden Park Amphitheatre, Syracuse. Kids are meeting at 1:30 at Ed Smith Elementary and riding bikes over to Thornden Park. Anyone is welcome to join the bike ride. Food from the Syracuse Real Food Co-op, music, displays by environmental organizations. Free and open to the public. Contact Sarah Eckel-Dalrymple, (315) 472-1339 or (202) 486-9007.
  • APRIL 19 & 20: BEAVER LAKE NATURE CENTER, “Weekend Guided Walk – Earth Day Celebration & Spring Migration,” 1:30 p.m. Join a naturalist for an exploration of what the season has to offer. Free with admission. Contact (315) 638-2519.
  • APRIL 19 – 27: OSWEGO COUNTY ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT COUNCIL, “Oswego County Earth Week: Working Together, Working For The Environment.” For information on participating in the Oswego County Earth Week Cleanup and projects, go to:
  • APRIL 20: LIME HOLLOW CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENT & CULTURE, “Earth Day Clean-Up,” 1 – 5 p.m., Education Center, 3091 Gracie Road. Join your friends at Lime Hollow as they prepare the Education Center and trails for the spring and summer season. This is a wonderful volunteer opportunity for all ages! Bring your helping hands and we’ll bring the refreshments! For more information call (607) 662-4632 or visit
  • APRIL 22: GREAT SWAMP CONSERVANCY, “Earth Day Public Tree Planting Celebration,” 1 p.m., 8375 North Main St., Canastota. The GSC will again celebrate Earth Day by a special tree planting celebration at our Nature Center. Public welcome. No fee. Contact (315) 697-2950.
  • APRIL 26: BALTIMORE WOODS NATURE CENTER, “Earth Day Clean-Up,” 10 am-3 pm., 4007 Bishop Hill Road, Marcellus. Take nature into your hands? This Earth Day help with spring cleaning at Baltimore Woods and help keep the Woods in better shape for future generations. Baltimore Woods will provide lunch and live afternoon music from the folk group Winsomet. Please register. (315) 673-1350. Free.

Earth Day History

U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson is credited with the founding of Earth Day. After years of unsuccessful attempts to persuade the federal government to add environmental concerns to its agenda, Senator Nelson announced at a conference that there would be a nationwide grassroots demonstration in the spring of 1970 on behalf of the environment, and he invited everyone to participate. His call met a tremendous response.

Twenty million demonstrators and thousands of schools and local communities across the country participated. Environmental awareness and activism has grown in the 38 years since that first Earth Day, spawning both businesses and government agencies. Children now routinely learn about the environment in school, and colleges and universities confer degrees in environmental sciences.