Environment

Earth Day turns 50 in ‘most challenging year’ for NWT to celebrate


Earth Day turned 50 on Wednesday with no possibility for northerners, under severe pandemic-related restrictons, to gather and celebrate the planet. 

Craig Scott, executive director of Ecology North, some programs were still going ahead this week with those restrictions in mind. However, fundraising efforts are on hold.

“There are a few things we’re encouraging people to do, like make a globe and put it in your window today,” Scott said on Wednesday.

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“Hopefully we can do some workshops if restrictions get opened up a little bit. It’s obviously a challenging year.”

Suggestions for Earth-friendly activities include learning to make beeswax food wraps or trying your hand at homemade laundry soap. A full list of events is shown on Ecology North’s website.

Scott, who plans to step down from his role this summer, said the community garden program is still good to go for the start of the growing season.

“We may still do something in the next week or so tied to the community garden program,” he said.

“We’re going into our big event season. We’re trying to figure out what we’re going to do, not knowing what the public health situation is going to be like in the future. We’re just trying to be adaptable.”

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Seven schools are involved in the community gardening program. Scott hopes parents and kids will be able to start some seedlings prior to June’s planting season.

“We’re hoping by the time we get into the actual season, we can have some of those plants brought to the community garden by doing social-distancing planting events in those communities,” said Scott.

In Fort Simpson, the Open Sky Creative Society – a collection of Dehcho artists – is delivering seed and potting packages to residents wanting to take part in Earth Week. The Hay River Public Library has also staged Earth Week events.

“Get outside, be active, and celebrate the beauty of the coming changes,” said Scott.

“Watch for the birds coming back, and get outside and try something new.”

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