Celebrate Earth Day at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center

Celebrate Earth Day at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center

Earth Day is an annual celebration that honors the achievements of the environmental movement and conservation. The goal is to raise awareness of ecological sustainability. This fits perfectly with our mission at PA Route 6 Alliance, which is to conserve and enhance the community’s resources and maintain a quality of life for present and future generations.  

DCNR to host a Virtual History of Earth Day 

There are many things you can do to help mitigate ongoing crises in the world. To help combat climate change, food shortages, litter, and other global concerns, Earth Day was set aside to help people learn more about what to do. This year, the DCNR is hosting a Virtual History of Earth Day at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center. 

The event will be held via ZOOM on April 22, 2022, from 1:00pm-2:00pm. No matter where you live, you can tune in and join a Naturalist to learn more about the history and importance of Earth Day. 

This event is free to the public, but all participants must register by April 20, 2022.  

ZOOM Links will be sent to all registrants the day before the program, courtesy of the Tom Ridge Environmental Center Foundation, who is sponsoring the event. This program is appropriate for all ages. Program may be modified or cancelled at the discretion of park staff.  

For more information, please contact the Presque Isle State Park office, located on the second floor of the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, at 814-833-7424.  The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00am-4:00pm. 

Route 6

More About the Tom Ridge Environmental Center 

While some facilities along the Great Lakes offer environmental education and others do research, none offer research, education, and visitor services all in one place, and that’s what makes the Tom Ridge Environmental Center such a unique destination.  

Located in Presque Isle, the center is open year-round and offers free admission to its interactive exhibits, glass-enclosed 75-foot tower, and orientation movie. Here visitors learn about the history of Presque Isle and how they can contribute to keeping it pristine and beautiful. The Tom Ridge Environmental Center takes learning to a whole new level of family fun! 

A Brief History of Earth Day 

In the late-1960’s, a series of national events led to the creation of Earth Day. First, there was the massive popularity of Rachel Carson’s 1962 book Silent Spring. Carson, a Pittsburgh native, raised the consciousness of Americans to realize the capacity for humans to not think through the ramifications of their choices on the environment and destroy it without meaning to do so.  

The second event occurred in 1968 with Apollo 8 broadcasting live from the lunar orbit, during which they showed pictures of the Earth and moon as seen from their spacecraft. It was the first time we got an in-the-moment reverse perspective of the planet we live on. Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell perhaps said it best when he said, “The vast loneliness is awe-inspiring and it makes you realize just what you have back there on Earth.” 

On the heels of these two events were two environmental disasters in 1969, a major oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara, CA, and the Cuyahoga River catching fire on the southern shores of Lake Erie in Ohio. Also during this time, research revealed that bald eagle populations were plummeting thanks to a chemical called DDT. It was clear that we needed to head in a different environmental direction, and the seeds for Earth Day were planted.  

Established by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, the first official Earth Day was April 22, 1970, and laid the groundwork for the environmental movement that we know today.