Read It’s Earth Day by Mercer Mayer or enjoy the story online.
The first Earth Day took place on April 22, 1970 right here in the United States. By 1990, more than 140 countries were celebrating this increasingly important occasion. Because of the impact of Earth Day, we now have the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
With Alabama being ranked fourth in the country for biodiversity, it is important that we recognize what this day means: It means thinking about our planet and what we can do to help make it better! There are currently 23 plant species in Alabama being protected under the ESA. Some of these are only found in our great state and nowhere else! For something to be considered endangered it is facing extinction (disappearing altogether).
Did you know the Huntsville Botanical Garden is part of the effort to save one of those endangered plants? Clematis morefieldii, or Morefield’s leatherflower, is a vine that blooms from late May through July and was originally thought to only live in Alabama (thankfully, it’s been spotted in parts of Tennessee, too). By providing a place for rare plants like Morefield’s leatherflower to thrive and ensuring their survival in the wild, we can work toward getting them off the endangered list altogether. But it’s going to take work from many people to help that to happen!
You can be part of helping our environment by making the kinds of choices that the character in today’s featured story did, like turning off the lights when you leave a room or turning off the water when you brush your teeth. Recycling, reusing, and reducing waste are other things we can do to help our planet. It’s also important to remind people in your community how they can help, too.
Endangered Plants & Animals
Learn about some other endangered plants and animals in Alabama and see if you recognize any of them:
Create an Earth Day Message to Share with the Community
Create a poster or a sign that tells others how they can celebrate Earth Day! Hang it up in your window or share it on social media (with permission) to help spread the word. If you have colored chalk, create a work of art on your driveway or sidewalk for your friends and neighbors to see.
Create Recycled or Upcycled Art
Find supplies around the house that might normally go in the trash or recycling and make art out of it! Use something you see outdoors as inspiration to celebrate the beauty of nature.
You can be part of improving the environment by planting something. It can be in a garden bed, your yard, or in a (maybe repurposed?) container!