Celebrate Earth Day The Columbus Way

The first Earth Day celebrations took place in 1970. 47 years ago, college students, Senators, families and more decided to stand up for environmental reform. In 1970, the counter culture movement was peaking.

Sen. Gaylord Nelson, of Wisconsin, the founder of Earth Day
Senator Gaylord Nelson (D) from Wisconsin had seen the destruction caused by an oil spill in California and decided to combine the power of the student voices protesting the Vietnam war with his concerns about the environmental impact of the spill. He organized a national teach-in, hoping to bring the environment to the front of the political spectrum, forcing America to take a look at consequences of years of unabated pollution.

On April 22, 1970, 20 million people gathered across the United States for the first Earth Day. From coast to coast, Americans of all ages primarily led by college-aged students went out and stood up for Mother Earth. That same year, partisan politics faded away briefly as lawmakers, acting in response to their constituents, had created the Environmental Protection Agency and eventually passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.

This weekend, across Columbus, people are still celebrating Earth Day. There are family-friendly activities, as well as protests and demonstrations, just like that first celebration 47 years ago.

Ways To Participate In Earth Day

Columbus Commons Earth Day Celebration


The largest Earth Day celebration in Columbus will take place at the Columbus Commons on Saturday! There will be activities for the kids, food trucks, environmentally friendly vendors and much more. The event goes from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m., with live music from 1:30 p.m. until 6:45 p.m.

March for Science


Starting on the west lawn of the Ohio Statehouse, the March for Science will hear speakers at a short rally before marching towards the Columbus Commons. The March begins at 10 a.m., with events taking place both before and after!

Columbus Zoo & Aquarium


From 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., central Ohioans are invited to celebrate Earth Day with the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Learn about all the ways we can help conservation efforts, throughout Ohio and the world!

A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet


Although this event isn’t happening until Tuesday, it’s well worth the wait. Delve into the history of earth day activism by stopping by the Drexel Theatre to see A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet, narrated by Robert Redford. The film explores conservation, the history of environmentalism in the United States, and the battles that can be won in favor of our environment.

Free Veggie Burgers at Northstar Cafe


Like every year, Northstar Cafe will offer free veggie burgers in honor of Earth Day. It’s the perfect way to end a day of gardening, celebrating, or activism! Cafes are open from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m., and Northstar locations can be found on their website.

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