Posted on Friday, May 3, 2013
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Earth Day and Earth Week were born 43 years ago, largely through the efforts of Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin. Westminster College observed that day April 22, 1970, with a clean-up of trash from Brittain Lake. This year the Field Station continued the Earth Week tradition for college students, community adults and children.
Vespers at the Sandy Edmiston Labyrinth on April 21 celebrated the beginning of Earth Week with a focus on the relationship between the God of the environment and those who reflect on the meaning of a sustainable world. Singing was an important part of that worship service. Statements reflecting attitudes of harmony with nature came from students and staff. The Labyrinth was called a "thin place" where heaven almost touches the earth! A bonfire, food and fellowship capped the evening.
On April 27 children and parents of the community came to the Field Station to celebrate the ending of Earth Week and enjoy a spring day that was late in coming but is now here to stay! They planted seedling trees in the Meg Rankin Nursery and Garden, learned about survival times for various items of trash and then picked up trashy stuff like plastics. Tree planting is definitely the right way to celebrate Earth Week. These trees from the Nursery will eventually be transplanted around the Field Station and Westminster's campus.
Were Senator Gaylord Nelson alive, he would be proud of the effort of these children. So would the late J. Sterling Morton, ex-Governor of Nebraska, and Secretary of Agriculture under President Grover Cleveland. Morton is credited throughout the United States as the "father of Arbor Day," now celebrated in 44 states and territories in most cases on the last Friday of April. That was the day before children planted trees at the Field Station. Better a day late than not at all!
Clarence Harms, Director