On April 2, 2021, Erie County celebrated its bicentennial anniversary, kicking off a year of celebration. This significant milestone is an opportunity for the community to reflect on the history, stories, and legacies of the many men and women who came before us.
On April 22, 1970, millions across the country came together with a common goal to bring attention to the environment. This movement, influenced by works like Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” created an awareness in the public zeitgeist that we needed to realize that we have but one planet to live on and we were doing significant damage to its air, land and water, which in turn was harming humanity as a whole. Ultimately this movement would have an impact on our region in 1978 with the Love Canal crisis. We have come a long way since then but there is still so much work to do so that future generations can continue to live on and experience all the beauty and wonders that this planet has to offer.
Erie County and a number of organizations have some great events happening around the county to promote Earth Day. We recently covered the Earth Day map, which shows events registered around the world that are celebrating Earth Day. At the time of publication, there was only one event posted on the map – Restore Your Home-A Roadmap to Reduce Toxins in your Home that could be Causing Cancer. Since then a small handful of events have been added, including a couple of neighborhood clean-ups. Other organizations, like Erie County and Graycliff are hosting events of their own. Feel free to drop suggestions in the comments to other Earth Day activities in the area that you think our fellow readers should know about or may want to participate in.
Erie County in partnership with Western NY Stormwater Coalition, will again be offering area residents discounted Compost Bins and Rain Barrels at their Spring 2021 sale. They are offering a variety of different composters with different features, like an aerator and rodent screen. In addition to rain barrels and compost bins, they have a variety of items like a kitchen collector, worm bin and garden leaf bag. In 2020, we saw a lot of people try gardening and these items will not only help to make a healthy garden but also reduce the amount of trash you send to the garbage dumps. Be advised that orders must be placed by May 8, 2021 and you can select the date and location to pick your order up.
Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor and an initiative started by The Baird Foundation, Graycliff has added two trees to their historic property—planted to support what we know of Frank Lloyd Wright’s and Ellen Biddle Shipman’s plan for their landscape. These trees are planted to commemorate Erie County’s 200th birthday (it was on April 2, 1821 that New York State officially recognized Erie County). In addition to this, their online store is offering a discount on items in their Outdoor and Garden Section. We highly recommend a trip to Graycliff to not only tour the property, but to check out the beautiful landscape and gardens.
Earth Day is right around the corner. We know what that means for the planet, but what does it mean for Buffalo and WNY? Many of these events and undertakings are not complex or major lifts. Some of them are things that groups are already doing. Others simply interacting with others in nature. Some are being held virtually, due to the pandemic. The biggest takeaway is that all of these actions allow people to get involved with Earth Day in some manner.
Several of the libraries are offering some great Earth Day activities for the kids, that you can pick up and take home as a fun activity for the kids to do. At the Elaine M. Panty Branch, they are offering an Earth Day collage. Just swing by the library and they will have all the materials you need to make this with your kids. The Marilla Branch is also offering their own take and make Earth Day themed craft. The Leroy R. Coles Jr. Branch has a Glitter Globe Mobile on offer to take and make with the kids. Check out the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library’s Event Page to see if your local library is offering one of these great Earth Day Take and Make Kits.
Typically, WNY Trash Mob hosts monthly cleanups on the last Sunday of the fair weather months, but in this case, it’s all about Earth Day. For those who have not yet organized a cleanup, it’s not too late (despite the snow). If you collect enough trash, come across a strange find, collect the heaviest haul, or take the best photo (there are lots of ways to play your cards right), you have a chance to win a number of prizes, including gift certificates to local businesses, donations from local artists, plants, etc. One of the prizes is getting to select where a Trash Mob cleanup will be held in the future. After all, this cleanup initiative is not a “one and done” deal – it’s just part of the bigger picture when it comes to beautifying our region.