by Linnea Kai, OCLC CoG
What happened in 1970? Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, and Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman launched one of the biggest movements in the United States. The first Earth Day occurred April 22nd, 20 million Americans met in parks, auditoriums and streets to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies.
According to EarthDay.org, groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.
Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. “It was a gamble,” Gaylord recalled, “but it worked.”
The movement has grown and expanded beyond our North American borders mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. We can celebrate Earth Day every day through conservation and desire to improve our world. This year, there are activities you can do to magically connect with the earth, water, air and fire in Southern California. These are just 5 things we wanted to share, but there are more activities between now and the 22nd. Take time for yourself, and with your friends and family to spiritually and magically share energy with our wonderful home.
# 1 – One such activity is whale watching during the Gray Whale Migration. The migration takes place along the Orange County coast during the months of January, February, March and April.
In a magical sense, watching the Gray Whale as it makes the most spectacular and longest mass migration of any marine mammal can be a humbling and breath-taking experience. Blending with water elements, and thanking creatures of the sea for their service will give you a sense of the vastness of the world of the sea, and incredible strength found in these beautiful creatures. Tens of thousands of gray whales migrate annually along the Newport Beach coastline from the summer feeding grounds in the Bering Sea to the winter grounds of the Baja California lagoons and back again along the Orange County coast. During the gray whale migration it is not uncommon to view 5 or more gray whales a cruise making for excellent viewing opportunities. Other varieties of whales including finback whales, humpback whales, and minke whales can also be viewed along with several species of dolphin.
Whale watching cruises can be taken from Balboa & Newport Beach – $16 Whale Watching Cruises-Newport Landing.
Address: 309 Palm Street, #A, Newport Beach, CA 92661
Times: 10 am, 1 pm, & 3:30 pm
Admission: $16 Whale Watching Special
Recurrence: (Recurring daily)
Contact: Lia Mendoza, Phone: 949-675-0551
# 2 – Sunday, April 19, 2015
Family Service Teams: Countywide, 1:00pm-2:30pm. Family Service Teams provide children and their families (ages 3-12) with a simple and organized way of building volunteerism into family life. Working together, families have fun while learning about the importance of giving their time, talent and energy to make a difference in Orange County. In honor of Earth Day, hundreds of family volunteers will be serving at nonprofits throughout the county with partners such as the nonprofits below:
Bolsa Chica Conservancy “Tending the Preserve” (Environment) – Huntington Beach. Volunteers will plant California native plants, as well as care for the preserve by watering and weeding.
# 3 – Earth Day at the Bay
April 25, 2015
Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center
Address: 2301 University Dr., Newport Beach, CA 92660
Times: From: 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Contact: Newport Bay Conservancy
It’s a fun way to connect and blend with nature for the entire family. Newport Bay Conservancy [http://newportbay.org/education/earth-day/] with OC Parks hosts the 25th Annual Earth Day at the Bay featuring environmental discovery exhibits, live entertainment, kids crafts, face painting and scavenger hunt, and short environmental films in conjunction with the Newport Beach Film Festival. Food from the Burnt Truck, Tamarindo, Front Porch Pops and opportunity drawing tickets available for purchase.
# 4 – Enjoy the sights, smells, and sounds of Shipley’s 18 acres of restored California native habitat through a self-guided tour of the grounds. Feel free to explore and wander along our 4,000 feet of well-maintained walking trails that meander through a number of unique plant communities surrounding Blackbird Pond. If it is your first visit, please borrow a printed Trail Guide obtained at the entrance of the Interpretive Building.
There is also a Waterwise Demonstration Gardens where visitors can see plants found in native habitat which illustrate what a home garden can do to attract wildlife. The gardens are ADA Accessible. Butterfly Garden, Hummingbird Garden, Riparian Garden, Waterwise and Color Gardens are each unique and give visitors ideas for their own homes.
Shipley Nature Center is located North of the intersection of Goldenwest and Talbert.
The primary parking lot is accessible from the south-bound side of Goldenwest, between Slater and Talbert. Additional parking is located in Central Park. Their hours are:
Monday 9:00am to 1:00pm
Tuesday 9:00am to 1:00pm
Wednesday 9:00am to 1:00pm
Thursday 9:00am to 1:00pm
Friday 9:00am to 1:00pm
Saturday 9:00am to 1:00pm
# 5 – Spend time with the animals at The Orange County Zoo. The OC Zoo is located inside beautiful Irvine Regional Park in the City of Orange. The Zoo is nestled among the majestic 477 acre wilderness park.
The Zoo’s focus is on animals and plants native to the southwestern United States. Animals on exhibit include black bears, mountain lions, bald eagle, island foxes, ocelot, red-tailed hawk, great horned owls, porcupine, coyotes, turkey vultures, coati and more. The zoo also features a barnyard with domestic goats, jacob sheep, pot-bellied pigs, doves and pheasants.
New! Take an audio tour at the OC Zoo!
Dial (714) 481-0355 on your cell phone to begin the audio tour. Refer to the guide (available below and at the zoo). Enter the animal exhibit number followed by the “#” key. Listen to fun and interesting information about the zoo’s animals. Hear from our animal keepers, veterinarian, education coordinator, curator and manager and learn more about our animals. Discover what our bears get to eat everyday, what the coyotes’ names are, how old our bald eagles are, what treats we give to the raccoon, why are animals are here at the zoo, where they came from, and more fun information! The cell phone tour is free and you can even put it on speaker phone for your family or friends to hear!
Admission to the OC Zoo is only $2.00 per person ages 3 years and over; ages 2 years and under are free.
Entry fee for Irvine Regional Park is $3.00 per vehicle weekdays & $5.00 per vehicle weekends. Major Holidays: $7.00 to $10.00 per entry as posted.
Orange County Zoo
1 Irvine Park Road
Orange, CA 92869