Maybe 2020 should be “Earth Year.”

Earth Day is a tradition dating back to 1970, started by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, activist Dennis Hayes and others to commemorate the Santa Barbara oil spill.

In recent years, due to heightened awareness, it became Earth Week.

Hood River boasts its share of events as part of Earth Week, a time when we ponder and perhaps take action on what we can do to care for this plastic-decked orb (sorry, Flat-Earthers) we all call home.

See article on page A1 for details.

In 1970, the landmark National Environmental Policy Act was also passed (and is now under attack) and President Nixon planted a tree on the south lawn of the White House to recognize Earth Day. 

Earth Day’s beginning 59 years ago brought 20 million Americans out into the spring sunshine for peaceful demonstrations in favor of environmental reform and is now observed in 192 countries.

We were all urged to curb or avoid driving that day in 1970, a time when electrical cars were a rarity, and e-bikes all but unheard of.

Now they are a common sight on the highways, and local residents will have a perfect opportunity to learn more on Saturday at the electric bike demo.

Another opportunity is the annual Procession of the Species that honors the awe and splendor of the natural world.

While it draws plenty of children, the celebration is all-ages and provides palpable images, both moving and humorous, reminding us of what humans are doing to other species sharing the earth, and our greater responsibility to protect and preserve them.

The procession was started in Olympia, Wash., in 1995. It has spread worldwide since then and you can find more information, including how to make your own animal costume, at

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