BLOG: Five Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

By: Cindy Adams Dunn, Secretary of Conservation and Natural Resources

April 22, 2016

It’s Earth Day, an observance created 46 years ago to remind us of the actions each of us can take for conservation and to protect our environment.


Need some ideas on how to celebrate?

Install Rain Barrels

At the Governor’s residence today, volunteers with the Harrisburg Rain Barrel Coalition are installing a rain barrel to collect rain water to help water the vegetable garden. Rain barrels reduce runoff during storms, help with water conservation and can save you some money on your water bill.

Plant a Tree

When the meaning of your state’s name relates to trees and forests, you know they play an important role in our history and our future. At the most basic level, trees help provide the oxygen we need to breathe, and they store carbon dioxide. Trees and shrubs are especially important along stream banks, where they help control stormwater and runoff, provide shade to cool the water and provide habitat and food for life in the streams. Planting trees – anywhere – is something that anyone can do to make a difference.


Pick up litter, help spruce up our public lands, or plant trees. There are lots of volunteer opportunities this weekend on DCNR’s Calendar of Events. If you want to do something more long term, become a Conservation Volunteer, or check out a Friends group coordinated by the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation.

Hear an Earth Day message from DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn, who helped volunteers plant trees recently along the lake at Yellow Creek State Park.

Try a Native Plant

When William Penn settled Pennsylvania in the 1600s, lush plants and dense forests blanketed 90 percent of the state. Abundant wildlife inhabited the lands and waters. These plants and animals were natives. Buying native plants to help with your landscaping projects, whether it’s a small backyard, large lot, or municipal park, can help Pennsylvania save the species that call Pennsylvania “home,” and are often better adapted to soil and weather conditions, requiring less water.

Take Kids Out for Fresh Air

Remember as a kid your mom would tell you to go outside and play, or the times you spent with your grandfather at his favorite fishing hole? Today, kids aren’t getting outside like they used to, which could be having an impact on their well-being. Turn off the screen today and find some outdoor fun with a child. It could improve their health, make memories, and provide a future conservation leader.


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