Via Groundwork Elizabeth:

In 1962, Rachel Carson wrote “Silent Spring,” a book which raised public awareness and concern for living organisms, the environment and the inextricable links between pollution and public health. Not long after, in 1970, Earth Day was established as a formal way of recognizing the value of a clean and healthy environment and since then it has been celebrated globally every year on April 22nd

This year, on Thursday, April 22nd, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Groundwork Elizabeth’s“Green Team” youth program will host a 2021 Earth Day hands-on community activity at Union County’s Phil Rizzuto Park at the corner of North Avenue and Morris Avenue, where the City of Elizabeth and Union Township meet.

The activities will include planting trees and cleaning a tributary riverbank in the park, as a way to raise local awareness about the importance of healthy open spaces in one of the most densely populated counties in the entire nation.

“Groundwork Elizabeth has been an invaluable partner in our efforts to engage the Union County community in sustainability and environmental conservation, and they have done a great job of transforming Phil Rizzuto Park into an outdoor learning center for all to enjoy,” said Union County Board of Commissioners Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “We are looking forward to an enriching afternoon of Earth Day activities, and we encourage everyone to come.”

The local “Boots not Suits” Earth Day 2021 event will also help showcase the issue of environmental justice. It provides an opportunity for a diversity of participants of all ages, who are not customarily included in environmental programming, to get outdoors, get their hands dirty, and dig in to improving local open spaces.

“Earth Day is a great opportunity for us to increase awareness about the importance of keeping our neighborhoods and environment clean,” said Mayor J. Christian Bollwage. “I would like to thank Groundwork Elizabeth for coordinating this event, the County of Union and all of the volunteers, who dedicated their time and effort in being here today. Whether you are planting a tree, picking up litter or garbage or encouraging others to do the same, you are all making a lasting impression for future generations.”

Groundwork USA’s Director of Youth Programming, Curt Collier, will be attending along with public officials from Elizabeth, the County of Union, Trailside Museum, and the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, located in nearby Morris County.

Informational tables at the event will showcase Groundwork Elizabeth, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Friends of the Great Swamp, the NAACP and others.

The public is invited, as social distancing guidelines will be followed. Bring a mask, ditch your suits, and bring your boots. Pre-registration is requested by contacting Lucy Crespo, Groundwork Elizabeth’s Director of Youth Initiatives at lucy@groundworkelizabeth.org, or call Groundwork Elizabeth’s main office number at 908-289-0262.

The Earth Day event is supported by the Union County Board of County Commissioners, the Mayor and City of Elizabeth, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Township of Union, Groundwork USA, and the NJ Conservation Foundation, along with private sector partners Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery, United Airlines, the Elizabeth NAACP, and other local community groups.

For more information on Groundwork programs, please visit their social media sites at Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and their website at groundworkelizabeth.org.