CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - The 49th annual Earth Day is upon us on this Tuesday. The first Earth Day started back on April 22, 1970.
The first Earth Day credits 20 million Americans for widely launching the modern environmental movement. This prompted the passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and other environmental laws according to Earth Day Network.
Decades later, popularity for Earth Day has grown to hundreds of millions of people in 190 countries worldwide to tackle environmental challenges and create lasting worldwide movements.
Heartland Organizations and individuals also take part in the Earth Day movement. Whether it be reforestation, cleaning up, ending plastic pollution, environmental literacy and more.
Heartland News talked with Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Media Specialist Candice Davis who said she encourages anyone to get out and do their part to help the environment.
MDC offers a Bashin' Trash event every year around Earth Day to bring in volunteers that want to help make a difference in the area.
"The Bashin' Trash event has been happening since 2006," Davis informed. "Over that time period, volunteers have collected over 4 tons of trash."
Davis said there are examples all over the world of areas we need to work on. This includes trash that can affect wildlife right here in the Heartland.
"We've had wildlife locally that were hurt by plastic bags left out and other things," Davis explained. "This is not a random problem that happens in some far away place. This is something that happens here at home. So let's keep our home clean and let's keep our wildlife healthy through these efforts."
Davis said the Bashin' Trash event focuses on a 9-mile stretch of the Cape La Croix creek around the Cape Girardeau area. She is thankful for all the volunteers in years past that have helped clean up and feels they have made progress keeping it cleaner throughout the years.
“It’s really interesting to see the trash diminish every year. It gets smaller and smaller,” Davis continued. “Last year, volunteers pulled out 70 bags of trash, 7 tires and 2 shopping carts out of Cape La Croix creek.”
The MDC Bashin' Trash event is scheduled for Saturday, April 27 at 9 a.m. Volunteers will meet at the 4-H building at the Arena Park.
Davis encourages anyone that wants to volunteer to call the Cape Girardeau Nature Center in advance to register for a t-shirt and lunch at 573-290-5218.