By Pauline Benetti
Special to The PREVIEW
Pagosa Springs — small rural mountain town, but for the last eight years, site of a big Earth Day celebration organized by the Southwest Organization for Sustainability (SOS) and bringing together a diversity of nonprofit, government and business interests with a shared passion for protecting the health of our planet.
2019 was no exception and we owe homage to the many individuals and organizations that made the event a success.
Our shared motivation for celebrating Earth Day is found in these words by Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
In 2020, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the celebration of Earth Day. SOS has already begun planning for an even bigger event and invites everyone — individual, nonprofits, organizations, businesses — to begin thinking of the part they wish to play.
The history of Earth Day is remarkable evidence of the efficacy of public opinion. In the U.S., the initial demonstration in 1970 brought out 20 million Americans and achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. By the end of that year, the first Earth Day had led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and was soon followed by the passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.
As participation has spread and numbers have grown, so has the urgency for effective action increased. And, so, again we ask, how will you participate? For more information, see www.earthday.org or contact Holly Metzler at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.