Earth Day, observed on April 22 each year, is the focus of an entire week dedicated to awareness of environmental issues and the need for environmental protection. In its grander scope, the event seeks to alter human behavior and mobilize formal governmental policy change, both with a view to reducing stress on the planet’s ecosystems. Celebrated in approaching 200 countries, the event is now globally coordinated by Earth Day Network.
Celebrated in the United States since 1970, countless communities now stage rallies in honor of Earth Week and Earth Day. Aside from New York City, the largest inaugural Earth Day event took place in Philadelphia, just across the bridge from us in Fairmount Park. Naturally enough, our region still gets behind the event in a big way.
Amico Island Park
On April 12, 2014, between 8:30 AM and 12:00 midday, volunteers are staging a clean-up of AmicoIslandPark, Delran, NJ. The aim is twofold: to collect litter and debris from along the park’s shoreline and to inventory that waste for future reference work. Organizers of the event are the NJ Clean Communities Council’s Clean Water Challenge. To register, contact Geoff Richter at (609) 859-8860, extension 56.
Palmyra Cove Nature Park
On April 19, 2014, you can join in with another park clean-up, this time at Palmyra CoveNature Park, adjacent to the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge. Habitats within the park include creek and river shoreline, meadows, wetlands, woodlands and the freshwater tidal cove for which the 250-acre facility is named. Because of its location – in a highly developed urban area, right on the Delaware River – this habitat is in need of ongoing protection from environmental pollution. Hours for this volunteer event are 11 AM to 3 PM. For details, call the Burlington County Bridge Commission on (856) 829-1900.
Burlington County Parks System
BurlingtonCounty’s Division of Parks continues to stage Earth Day celebrations across the region. Previous venues have included:
- Boundary Creek Natural Resource Area in Moorestown
- LongBridgePark in Hainesport
- PenningtonPark in Delanco
- Smith’s Woods in Eastampton
Bruce Garganio, a former Burlington County Freeholder Director, describes the events thus: “Residents are encouraged to visit one or more of the parks to hike the trails, meet park rangers, enjoy guided nature walks, learn about recycling and composting, and also take advantage of activities targeted to children.” For up-to-date information on this year’s events, contact BurlingtonCounty on (609) 265-5858.
Saddler’s Woods Urban Forest
The Saddler’s Woods Conservation Association is organizing an Earth Day Stewardship Event at 250 MacArthur Boulevard, HaddonTownship. Intended to raise awareness, and pride in, of the small urban forest opposite the Haddonview Apartments, volunteers are needed to weed out invasive species as well as to join in their clean-up activities. To register, contact Kristen at (856) 869-7372.
Penn Institute for Urban Research
Between 5:30 and 7:30 PM on Earth Day itself, PIUR is hosting a lecture entitled Mapping Our Global Future in the lower gallery of its Meyerson Hall. To quote: “Panelists will examine rapid population growth and the institutional, technological, and behavioral innovations impacting the ability of the Earth to sustain future human settlement.” To learn more about this free event, contact the Institute at (215) 573-8386.
Traveling between events, and doing so in an ecologically responsible way, is easy for drivers in the central west Jersey and metro Philadelphia area: check out the full range of Kia vehicles at Burlington Kia. Located less than 1.5 miles eastward from the confluence of Burlington Pike (SR 130), and Reed Street/Keim Boulevard after it comes off the Burlington Bristol Bridge, access couldn’t be easier.