By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
This Saturday, April 22 marks a wonderful day to celebrate a wonderful thing: this incredible blue and green marble we call home — Earth. Saturday is Earth Day!
According to my sleuthing via another wonderful thing — the internet — Earth Day got its start in 1970 after peace activist John McConnell suggested setting aside a day to honor the Earth. Today, more than 190 countries across the globe mark the day.
Traditionally, communities celebrate the day by hosting events and activities with the environment and environmental sciences in mind. This can include tree plantings, recycling drives, educational seminars, festivals, volunteer opportunities and more. Dozens of organizations, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Texas General Land Office (GLO) also participate in educational campaigns and more.
And the Rio Grande Valley is no exception. Many communities here are hosting Earth Day events, including our very own Laguna Vista and South Padre Island. The GLO will be hosting several beach cleanups up and down the Texas coast this Saturday morning, including at several sites on the Island and Boca Chica Beach.
Part of the Adopt-a-Beach program, the cleanups are an excellent way to take a small action that shows our planet how much we appreciate it and the resources it provides us. And all you need to do is bring yourself and a healthy attitude. Prospective volunteers can find out more information about the who, what, where and why further inside these pages.
But it’s not just beach cleanups.
We all have old phones or maybe broken TV sets or computers taking up space in our homes. Maybe you’ve got an old toaster that doesn’t work anymore, or a microwave. Whatever it is, your electronics probably shouldn’t get tossed out with your weekly garbage. Often they contain dangerous or corrosive materials that can seep into ground water supplies or otherwise negatively impact our local ecosystems.
So what can you do if you’ve got old electronics taking up space? Well, you’re in luck! The City of South Padre Island is hosting an electronics recycling campaign this Saturday in honor of Earth Day. Just flip to our calendar of events for more information.
Or, join the folks of Laguna Vista down at Roloff Park for an Earth Day event by the bay. There you’ll have an opportunity to learn all about the plants and animals of the Rio Grande Valley. This event is free and all are welcome. Again, check out the calendar of events for more details.
Finally, do you have kids, or are you a kid at heart? Then be sure to stop by the South Padre Island Birding & Nature Center Saturday, too, as they host a day-long Earth Day celebration. Take a walk with Marilyn Lorenz out on the boardwalks as she points out whatever spring visitors are making their annual migratory pit stops in the Valley.
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