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Wisconsinites Celebrate Earth Day - and its Wisconsin Founder

April 20, 2007

Earth Day is this weekend, and many Wisconsinites will mark the occasion by cleaning up parks and rivers, planting trees, and attending educational events and celebrations. Earth Day was the brainchild of the late Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson. His daughter, Tia Nelson, believes the best way to honor his efforts is to take personal responsibility for the environment.

“Each of us have the opportunity and the duty to do something, and I would encourage people to make every day Earth Day and think about their impact on the planet and their opportunity to leave it a better place.”

She says global warming is the top environmental priority facing Wisconsin. The first Earth Day was in 1970, and the event is now celebrated across the U.S. and in over 150 countries around the world.

“The Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. It's been successful beyond papa's wildest dreams.”

Nelson adds that although her father was pleased with the success of Earth Day, he still thought there was a lot more to accomplish.

“He worked at the Wilderness Society until several months before he died, and when asked why he still went to work at age 89, he always replied, ‘because the job's not done.’”

Earth Day is Sunday, April 22.

Rob Ferrett/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - WI