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Be kind to Mother Earth

At its General Assembly in 2009, The United Nations was unanimous in its designation of April 22 as International Mother Earth Day.

“Sixty years after adopting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Mother Earth is now, finally, having her rights recognized,” said Bolivian President Evo Morales, whose country helped lead the resolution. “We are strangling the planet — strangling ourselves. We don’t own the planet, we belong to it.”

In 2009, Morales called for the 21st century to be dedicated to protecting and supporting Mother Earth and her ecosystems. 

The proclamation was an acknowledgement that “the Earth’s ecosystems provide inhabitants with life and sustenance,” and also a call to “achieve balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of the present and future generations of humanity.”

Across the globe and right here in East County, April 22 is dedicated to celebrating Mother Earth.

According to The Earth Day Network, “Earth Day 1970 capitalized on the emerging consciousness, channeling the energy of the anti-war protest movement and putting environmental concerns front and center.”

Spurred to action by the student anti-war movement and witnessing the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill, U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson, D-Wis., called for an environmental teach-in for April 22, 1970 — The First Earth Day.

April 22, 1970, is considered the birth of the modern environmental movement.

Today, more than 1 billion people across the world observe Earth Day, which is considered one of the largest secular holidays in the world.

From recycling hard-to-recycle materials through the city of Gresham to cleaning up a community garden, there are a variety of ways to observe Earth Day in your community.

Legacy Mount Hood’s

healing gardens

11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, at The Healing Garden at Mount Hood Medical Center, 24800 S.E. Stark St., Gresham.

Legacy Mount Hood’s healing gardens are intended to promote health and well-being by offering a place to reduce stress and provide an opportunity to relax and restore. The gardens also highlight the importance of native plant varieties and the value of trees to communities.

For more information, email Pat Lydon at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Teresia Hazen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

ASERT Neighborhood and Thom Park Community Garden Clean-Up Party

8:30-11 a.m. Saturday, April 20, at Dexter McCarty Middle School, 1400 S.E. Fifth St., Gresham.

The ASERT Neighborhood Association is working with the East Gresham Elementary S.U.N. program to clean up several garden plots in the Thom Park Community Garden, which is next to East Gresham Elementary School, to prepare them for student use in growing and learning about vegetables.

Community volunteers will weed, remove debris and till garden plots so that the students will be able to use them this growing season.

Additional community volunteers will clean neighborhood streets, including Roberts, Hogan and several streets bordering East Gresham Elementary School and Dexter McCarty Middle School.

Bring gloves, boots and any favorite tools to help clean-up the community garden.

For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Ready to Recycle:

Gresham’s Earth Day Collection

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 20, city of Gresham, 1333 N.W. Eastman Parkway.

The city of Gresham is hosting its 12th annual Earth Day Collection Event, offering Gresham and Wood Village residents the opportunity to recycle common yet difficult to recycle items, such as Block Styrofoam, non-curbside plastics, rigid plastics, fluorescent tube lights, batteries and cell phones.

“Every year, we see more than 1,000 residents who have been diligently recycling what they can in their blue roll carts and saving the things they cannot put in there for this event,” said Recycling and Solid Waste Manager Dan Blue. “We are providing a much needed service to the city and keeping a lot of material from going to the landfill.”

The cell phone collection will benefit Oregon Green Schools while Girl Scout Troop 4004 is helping to fill compost buckets as part of their work toward the Bronze Award.

Collection Items

n Rigid plastics/clean plastic bags (not accepted in curbside recycling)

n Styrofoam

n Paper shredding (two boxes per household)

n Fluorescent tubes and lights

n Cell phones

n Batteries (3-pound limit per household)

The city does not accept electronics or hazardous waste at the Earth Day recycling event.

This year, the city is offering a free, limited amount of compost made from vegetables and food waste to residents, who may collect five gallons of compost in their own buckets.

The city also is offering free paper shredding on site through Gresham Sanitary’s AccuShred NW division, with a limit of two grocery bags per household.

The city is in need of 30-40 volunteers to work one of two shifts: 8:15 to 11:45 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tasks may include directing traffic, passing out fliers, unloading materials from cars and sorting materials. Tasks involve walking, standing, bending or lifting up to 30 pounds.

For more information, call Shaunna Sutcliffe at 503-618-2694 or visit GreshamOregon.gov/EarthDay.



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