Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day, 22 April 1970 - Where were you?

Realizing that this admission will completely document my age and provide my children with the final proof that I am an old fogey. I remember the first Earth Day that was celebrated during the third week of April in 1970, 40 years ago. I was 14 years old and had become very aware of how we can be a part of the change that protects our environment. I continue to hold the power of the environmental movement as an important tenant of my personal philosophy. My environmental awareness was kindled and fueled by being an active member of the Boy Scouts of America. That organization continues to this day to be among the foremost pro-environmental organizations that this country will ever see.

Our Scout Troop, Troop 667, joined with the local district for Earth Day 1970 to replant a clear-cut site in the Bridger Mountains on US Forest Service land near Bozeman, Montana with Douglas fir seedlings. Even now when driving up State Highway 86 and just before the Bridger Bowl Ski Area, I can view from the road that section of trees, which I helped to plant. I can no longer tell where the clear cut was since the trees are now so tall. I am proud of that section of trees.

For you map geeks:
Latitude: 45°48'17.91"N
Longitude: 110°54'3.49"W

My father was our Scoutmaster then and I remember walking with him on that day, swinging the hoedad to open the soil for the seedling, and dropping in the tree. It was a great day for a 14-year-old to be with his dad. We had many such times, but this day is one I truly remember.

Now that I have two sons of my own, we have participated in several Fort Robinson Tree Plants, near Crawford, Nebraska with their own Scout Troop. I always remember my time on that Earth Day 40 years back as my own sons sink the hoedad into the earth and drop in a Ponderosa pine seedling.

Thank you Dad for my Earth Day memories.