Remember the First Earth Day? (I do, barely)

Anybody else remember the first Earth Day?

I think I remember taking time out of school (Knox Junior High) and roaming the neighborhood with an army of other eighth graders, picking up trash.

I think I remember it being normal, before Earth Day, to toss any kind of trash out the car window.

I think I remember a lot of trash on the ground.  Basic city streets.

Here in my neighborhood — in Salisbury, NC — we’re blessed with natural areas.  Back then, there was already a nature trail, behind Knox, but we enjoy a much bigger area now.

The nature trail is now connected to the city’s greenway, and to the nature preserve behind Catawba College (where I enjoy walking almost every day).  I remember when this area was a dry pasture.  Now there are lakes, trails, and wildlife.  All this less than five minutes, walking, from my house.  Or from Food Lion, or from the hospital.

One could argue that we’ve damaged the planet significantly since then.  But not everybody looks at the past.  Some foreward looking people have created some wonderful spaces.  We’re far more aware that we share a planet.  And we’ve got our first Green President.