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Four decades of environmental awareness: County Council marks 40th anniversary of Earth Day

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The Metropolitan King County Council today recognized the 40th Anniversary Earth Day by proclaiming April 22 Earth Day in King County. The effort started by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin in 1970 to raise awareness and garner support for protecting the environment has grown into a world-wide event, celebrated in 175 countries.

“Earth Day was created forty years ago to build awareness of our duty to be responsible stewards of the planet for ourselves and for future generations,” said Councilmember Jan Drago, sponsor of the recognition. “We are so lucky here in King County to live in the midst of such amazing natural beauty, and this proclamation reminds us all of our responsibility to preserve and protect this natural wonder we call home.”

“The 40th Anniversary of Earth Day presents us with an opportunity to examine our County’s environmental sustainability practices,” said Council Chair Bob Ferguson. “I encourage King County residents to continue their daily efforts of making sustainable choices that will help make King County a wonderful place to live for future generations.”

On April 22, 1970, more than 20 million Americans participated in the first Earth Day at college campuses and cities throughout the U.S. Many important laws were passed by Congress in the wake of the 1970 Earth Day, including the Clean Air Act and the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

“Living in King County—a region filled with such riches of natural resources—makes for a population of earth lovers, so celebrating Earth Day is a way to show our appreciation and give back to our natural environment,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips.

“The fact that we’re still celebrating Earth Day is a testament to the vision of its founders,” said Council Vice Chair Jane Hague. “I’m hopeful that we can continue to incorporate these ideas as we build a more vibrant and eco-friendly King County.”

“Earth Day celebrations are a great way to teach our children about the importance of being a good citizen of the earth,” said Councilmember Larry Gossett. “I hope residents of King County will take advantage of living in an area blessed with an abundance of natural resources and join a community project with their kids.”

This April 22, King County will host the seventh annual Earth Day Expo at Westlake Park in Seattle. The event will feature a wide range of activities, speakers and vendors geared toward people of all ages. Participants can get information and tips on how to reduce their carbon footprint and live a greener, healthier lifestyle, as well as receive special discounts and incentives for earth-friendly products and services.

“My Earth Day celebration involved planting fresh flowers and vegetables in my garden at my home in SeaTac,” said Councilmember Julia Patterson. “The way we treat our own landscapes contributes greatly to the health of our community through the environment, landscape and waterways that we all utilize and enjoy.”

“Annual Earth Day celebrations have been very successful at raising awareness about the challenges we face in preserving our natural environment as well as the many solutions available,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert. “For example, it is great to see people taking many steps to help our environment, such as bringing their own cloth bags to the grocery store. We can do much more to protect our land, water and air quality, particularly in the area of recycling, waste disposal and alternative energy. Earth Day is a good time to explore emerging technologies and pledge to make our everyday activities more environmentally sustainable.”



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