Washington is home. Whether we were born here, or moved here from somewhere else, Washington welcomed us. The state’s beauty is timeless, and our choice to protect that beauty must be renewed every day.
Fifty years ago, Washingtonians made that commitment when they formed the nation’s first state agency dedicated to environmental protection. And, as proud as all of us at Ecology are of our work, we never lose sight of the fact that our accomplishments are simply a reflection of the state’s values.
Although Gov. Dan Evans signed the legislation in February 1970, and the new agency opened its doors in July, we at Ecology have always claimed Earth Day as our birthday. Earth Day, founded in 1970, celebrates our stewardship for the planet and highlights the need for greater care.
This is not the birthday celebration we had planned, of course. We really wanted to share a few hugs, high-fives ,and some cake.
But, even as we stay home to limit the spread of the coronavirus, our mutual reliance has never been more clear. Protecting one another — looking out for family, friends and neighbors — has always been a value worth fighting for. Today, we can do that by staying home. Soon, we will open our doors once again with a renewed commitment to protect and build upon the legacy that was entrusted to us.
Clean water, land, and air are a choice we make as a society — we choose to make an investment in the continued health of local communities and the environment. We choose to restore lands scarred by past decisions and actions, and we choose to grow the state in new directions that promise a cleaner and healthier future.
So, for the next week, as we lead up to Earth Day, we hope you join us in celebrating that commitment, as we share stories about our work and explore new ways each of us can support the effort. Even when we’re stuck at home.
Here’s some of what we have to help you celebrate Earth Day at Home:
Because Washington schools are closed for the year, we’ve put together educational resources developed by local and federal agencies with curriculum for K – 12. Field trips to your own backyard, walking activities, and a variety of environmental actions are all shared on our Earth Day event page.
Come together on social media
For 50 years, Earth Day has usually centered on in-person events that bring communities together. With social distancing being critical and a stay home order in place, we’re urging people to maintain that community through social media. Let’s band together by sharing photos of Earth Day activities on Ecology’s Facebook page and use the hashtags #WAEarthDay2020 and #EarthDay2020.
We’ll share daily prompts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Please follow along and join us in celebrating Earth Day. You can find some of those prompts and learn more about our work and the environment by visiting our Earth Day event page.
Help us celebrate Ecology's 50th
As we’ve said, Earth Day is our birthday, and we’re proud to be a part of the first agency dedicated to environmental protection in the United States. We even came along before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Learn more about Ecology’s history and what we’ve accomplished in our first half-century at Ecology's 50th webpage.