Wednesday, April 22, 2020, marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day; a day that according to earthday.org, was established as a unified response to an environment in crisis from oil spills, smog, and polluted rivers.

On April 22, 1970, the very first Earth Day, 20 million Americans took to the streets, college campuses, and hundreds of cities to protect environmental ignorance and demand a new way of protecting our planet going forward.

Credited with launching the modern environmental movement, the first Earth Day created a wave of action, including the passage of landmark environmental laws in the United States; such as the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts, as well as the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

With the Governor’s Stay at Home order due to the threat of COVID-19, families have been taking walks together, hiking, and simply enjoying their time in nature while celebrating all that the planet has to offer.

“It is important to enjoy all that the Earth offers us, whether that be the rain that makes my seeds sprout or the sun that makes them break up through the ground,” Stacy Sturm said.

Now that students are being schooled at home, parents are taking the opportunity to teach their children the importance of taking care of the planet and all that it encompasses.

“Earth Day is important to teach children how to respect the Earth,” Rachel Rhodes said. “It’s all about learning how to care for and respect the world around us. Everything is linked, from the soil, the weather, the plants, the bees, the trees, the animal life, to us. If you take one away, the whole system fails.”

According to Cassandra Lot, Earth Day is important to bring awareness to the impact we all have on the planet.

“Having a day dedicated to this helps us teach our children the importance of recycling, saving our trees and wildlife, reducing waste, and creating a better environment for our future,” she said.

With the ongoing threat of COVID-19, one thing Rhodes said the virus has taught us, is that “life is truly precious, any kind of life.”

“It is up to us to take care of the Earth,” Sturm said. “Because the Earth takes care of us.”

According to earthday.org, Earth Day is now recognized as the planet’s largest civic event.