Observed as part of “Earth Week” in April 1970, Northfield’s first Earth Day highlighted the central environmental concerns of its era – the harmful effects of DDT and other pesticides; overconsumption of resources; the increasing prevalence of litter; raw sewage and phosphates from detergent being released into bodies of water. It also foretold the recurring future themes of environmental movements to the present day: land, water and air pollution, resource conservation and waste management.
Since the original 1970 event some of the more specific focuses have shifted, but Earth Day continues to be marked in Northfield year after year by schools, area businesses and families. There are tree plantings, carbon-neutral concerts, marches, educational lectures, community meals, contra dances and trash cleanups. It’s a mixture of action, education, celebration and demonstrations.
The present-day event known as Northfield Earth Day, a “perennial” Earth Day Celebration since 2009, was created when two community members decided that a larger celebration and environmental expo was called for on the occasion of Earth Day and moved forward with that dream in mind. Today, the team that organizes Northfield Earth Day is comprised of additional local volunteers who believe in:
• Increasing awareness of environmental issues and solutions.
• Developing skills, local networks, problem-solving approaches and adaptations during shifting times to foster community resilience.
• Facilitating access to actions that empower us as a community to work towards creating a healthier planet for all.
Each spring, Northfield Earth Day celebrates sustainability successes and invigorates efforts to create needed change, especially on local and state levels. The recurring celebration encourages community members to learn, engage and take action on environmental matters themselves through a variety of initiatives and organizations, offering hands-on workshops, service opportunities, educational presentations and one-on-one relational connections in the hope of inspiring all present to move forward together in the face of climate change and other emerging threats.
The Northfield Earth Day 2022 celebration begins with a Friday night kickoff event April 22 at the Grand Event Center. This event will equip attendees with information about exciting current and upcoming local and state projects and provide opportunities to meet new people and unite around ways to engage in this environmental work together. There will be music, appetizers, drinks and moments to celebrate accomplishments thus far.
The celebration continues on the following day, Saturday, April 23, with morning workshops held around the city, centered on learning and service projects. In the afternoon, a farmer’s market and Earth-Friendly Action and Idea Fair will take place on Bridge Square from 1 to 4pm. The Saturday celebration offers many opportunities for the community to learn new skills and concepts, connect with local food and goods producers, support local networks and become better acquainted with the multitude of organizations, groups, people and businesses nearby who are navigating and addressing the current environmental concerns in their own unique ways.
New this year: Northfield Earth Day is working with other sustainably-minded organizations to provide volunteer opportunities for community members throughout the year. These volunteer opportunities take place after Earth Day itself but continue to engage individuals in working together towards a healthier planet.
Join us! For more information on our vendors, exhibitors, workshops, service projects and sponsors, go to northfieldearthday.com.
“ The hoopla of Earth Day is over; the problems remain…And those who marched today, and those who slept, and those who scorned are in this thing together.”
– Walter Cronkite, Earth Day 1970 CBS Special
Alyssa Ness, Northfield Earth Day volunteer northfieldearthday.com | email@example.com