Robert Sanchez, park superintendent, during his tree planting demonstration on Earth Day, gestures how big the tree he is planting will grow. The May 23 event was sponsored by Gardner Parks and Recreation. Photo courtesy of Rick Poppitz


Nearly 200 volunteers participated in Gardner’s annual Earth Day event, district schools practiced recycling and purchased trees, and Scouts assisted with Spring clean up for area seniors.

In celebration of Earth Day, Madison Elementary invested the proceeds from their recycling efforts during the year and purchased a Rosebud tree for each student and staff member.  Kindergartner Olivia Hastert proudly displays her tree to take home and plant. Photo courtesy of Leeann Northway

In celebration of Earth Day, Madison Elementary invested the proceeds from their recycling efforts during the year and purchased a Rosebud tree for each student and staff member.  Kindergartner Olivia Hastert proudly displays her tree to take home and plant. Photo courtesy of Leeann Northway

Earth Day, an annual event that began in 1970 has grown, and Earth Day Network estimated that over one billion people in 192 countries would take action to protect our shared environment. Across the globe, in big cities to small villages and everything in-between, people are organizing, demanding climate action, cleaning up their local communities, meeting with their elected officials, planting trees, and teaching their children to protect our planet, according to an EDN statement.
Gardner did its fair share.
About 200 residents gathered at Gardner Greenway Corridor in Winwood Park April 23 where Robert Sanchez, Gardner Parks, demonstrated how to plant trees. Earth Day/Arbor Day has been celebrated in Gardner city since 2001.
“It is a fun way to celebrate Earth Day/Arbor Day while educating and/or reminding the public the importance of taking care of the earth,” said Matt McClure, recreation superintendent. “We also provide education on proper tree planting.”
One of Gardner’s two mascots, Greenie, made an appearance; and after the clean up was completed, volunteers were treated to hot dogs, chips and a drink.
“About 10 yards of debris was collected during the event,” Mcclure said.
All Gardner Edgerton schools celebrated Earth Day in a variety of ways: recycling paper, learning about “green” efforts, and re-purposing used items, were just a few samples of school projects.
At Madison Elementary, a total of 590 trees were purchased through Kansas Forest Service’s Conservation Tree Planting Program.
“We are excited to see Madison Elementary students taking a huge interest in planting and caring for their trees,” said Christi Whitter, Madison Elementary principal. “This project has been a great reminder for them by realizing their efforts in recycling this year helped purchase the trees and to know they made a difference for Earth Day 2016.”
Earth day is a global event.
This year United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon invited every world leader to the United Nations to officially sign the Paris Climate Agreement which was reached this past December. It is no coincidence that the agreement is being opened for signatures on April 22nd, Earth Day.
“Earth Day is the largest, most recognizable face of the environmental movement,” said Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network. “Millions of people in dozens of different countries will become lifelong environmentalists this and every Earth Day. Hundreds of thousands will be children – our planet’s future. They will join the more than 1 billion people who already use Earth Day to focus on the urgent need to stabilize and reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, fight climate change, act locally, become climate voters, and protect their children’s futures.”
This year Earth Day Network focused on the urgent need to plant new trees and forests worldwide. Throughout the year, EDN sponsors and takes part in tree plantings across the US and worldwide. As the four year count down begins to Earth Day’s 50th anniversary in 2020, Earth Day Network is pledged to plant 7.8 billion trees worldwide – one for every person on Earth.

Boy Scouts from Edgerton’s Troop 369 spent their time on Saturday April 23, doing chores and cleanup projects for elderly residents in Gardner. Photo courtesy of Rick Poppitz

Boy Scouts from Edgerton’s Troop 369 spent their time on Saturday April 23, doing chores and cleanup projects for elderly residents in Gardner. Photo courtesy of Rick Poppitz

Across the world, millions of schoolchildren and their teachers took part in education, civic, and outdoor programs that teaches them about the importance of clean air and water, how to begin a lifelong practice of civic participation, and experience the wonders of nature, according to EDN.
The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. Growing out of the first Earth Day, Earth Day Network (EDN) works with tens of thousands of partners in 192 countries to broaden, diversify and mobilize the environmental movement. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.
For more information, visit www.earthday.org