April 22, 2020 marks the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day!
Earth Day is an annual event celebrated around the world to demonstrate support for the environment and environmental protections. The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970, and today it is observed in over 192 countries.
Earth Day brings communities together to plant trees, clean up local rivers and streams, and participate in educational activities. This year, COVID-19 has us all rethinking our typical Earth Day activities.
MWA strongly believes that a community that is fully aware of the importance and vulnerability of its natural resources is a community that will actively support efforts to ensure environmental quality. We carry out our mission through grassroots activities including educational programs in local schools, municipal government outreach, workshops and seminars for the public, stream cleanups and outdoor educational programs.
We may have had to postpone our Annual River Clean-up, spring hikes and paddle trips, and we won’t be visiting local schools this spring, but we won’t let that stop us from connecting with our Watershed community and participating in Earth Day 2020!
Here are some activities and educational lessons you do on Earth Day, or any day, while still practicing social distancing:
Conduct your own clean-up! If you are anything like me, you have been taking many walks to help break up the day. Consider using a walk to have your own mini clean-up along your typical route! Be sure to wear gloves, and dispose of the trash properly. Share your clean-up with MWA on social media by tagging us in your post and using the hashtag #MuskyEarthDayCleanup2020.
Take this time to think about your carbon footprint. Create a list of steps you can take to be more green! MWA board member Gary Pohorely has a great list of ways you can Go Green in 2020. Let us know how you plan to commit to going green!
Did you know, native plants are essential to the well-being of our wildlife? The berries, nuts, flowers, nectar, stems and leaves of these plants are an indispensable food source for hundreds of species of insects, birds and other animals. Native plant habitat provides homes and shelter for our local wildlife. If you grow native plants for birds, they will return the favor by dispersing seeds. Now is a great time to start some native plants by seed! Watch this video to learn how to start your seeds at home!
Learn more about how everyday actions can have an impact on water quality! NJDEP AmeriCorps Watershed Ambassador, Diana Maher shares this virtual Enviroscape lesson on non-point source pollution.
Become a River Watcher! MWA’s River Watchers keep an eye on the heath of the Musconetcong River by monitoring water quality at 7 locations along the river. River Watchers measure temperature, dissolved oxygen, acidity (pH), and nitrate levels at each site. While we cannot be out monitoring during these times – now is a great time to complete River Watcher Trainings, so that when we are ready to monitor, you can volunteer! Visit our website to participate in our virtual trainings! If you have questions on the River Watcher Program, contact Field Specialist, Christa Reeves.
Water is vital to everyday life! The water cycle describes how water evaporates from the surface of the earth, rises into the atmosphere, cools and condenses into rain or snow in clouds, and falls again to the surface as precipitation. Here is a great activity to learn more about the water cycle and to create your own mini water cycle at home!
Attend a seminar or other virtual Earth Day Event. Earthday.org is a great resource for virtual Earth Day seminars or video screenings. You can also download the Earth Challenge 2020 app to gather critical environmental data near you.
Commit to helping MWA protect the Musconetcong Watershed by becoming a Member or registering for MWA’s Virtual Run for the River! Your continued support will help us provide our community with educational activities and help to protect our shared watershed!