Earth Day 2013 : Stand Together More info coming soon!
Work Site Weekend April 20-21 ; Celebration April 27 at the Columbus Commons
Green Columbus Earth Day History:
Green Columbus coordinates the largest Earth Day volunteer effort in the country (nay, universe) and hosts the largest dedicated celebration in central Ohio.
For the last five years, Green Columbus has brought together communities, organizations, businesses and individuals in a two-part event that keeps gaining momentum. In 2007, the event (A Year in a Day) rallied more than 1,300 citizens to volunteer their time at 42 area worksites. In 2008 (Now Get Busy), over 1,400 people volunteered. In 2009 (Picture This), over 2,600 volunteers came together to make central Ohio more sustainable. In 2010 (The Update), more than 3,700 volunteers at 129 worksites helped plant over 8,000 trees and more. In 2011, we supported 137 worksites powered by over 3,300 volunteers who put in over 8,000 hours (or more than 4-person years). The majority of volunteers dodged rain and hail on Saturday and Sunday, April 16 & 17 to create or revive community gardens, restore ecosystems, install rain gardens, and more.
Each year, the wide-scale community service worksite projects are followed by a celebration originally held at Goodale Park and for 2010 & 2011 held on the grounds surrounding Franklin Park Conservatory.
Earth Day 2012 : Root Down
For Columbus’ bicentennial year, Green Columbus is planning its best Earth Day event yet, with more volunteer opportunities and the first ever downtown Columbus celebration. Since 2007, the people of Central Ohio have come out in force, putting in nearly 30,000 person-hours at Earth Day worksites cleaning the banks of our scenic rivers, planting over 15,000 trees, removing countless bags of trash from parks and neighborhoods, and much more. To see what our volunteers were able to accomplish last year check out the Earth Day 2011: Lighten Up video.
Earth Day 2011: Lighten Up
The organizers of Earth Day 2011: Lighten Up, central Ohio’s two-part Earth Day events, have declared victory despite stormy weather. The unique Columbus-style Earth Day celebration puts the emphasis on community service projects but also hosts a party with local bands, kids’ activities and opportunities for people to learn about sustainable lifestyles and activities.
Coordinating more service projects for Earth Day than any other city in the world, Green Columbus registered 137 worksites for 2011. These worksites were powered by over 3,300 volunteers who put in over 8,000 hours (or more than 4-person years). The majority of volunteers dodged rain and hail on Saturday, April 16 & 17 to create or revive community gardens, restore ecosystems, install rain gardens, and more. The community service project portion of the event has grown over the years from a morning’s work to beyond a weekend. This year, registered service projects in support of a more sustainable planet spanned from April 2 through April 30. In addition, over 5,300 carbon sequestering, water filtering, shade giving trees were planted.
This year’s celebration, hosted for the first time on the beautiful Scotts Miracle-Gro Community Garden Campus just outside Franklin Park Conservatory, was held on Saturday, April 23 from 11am to 10pm. The celebration held in partnership with ARTillery and Listening Lamp Productions, featured local bands and food trucks, activities for kids, cooking demonstrations, sustainability presentations, info booths from businesses and organizations with “green” products, services or missions, art booths, hands-on community arts projects, and short films on a variety of environmental issues.
During the celebration, Franklin County Commissioners Marilyn Brown, Paula Brooks and John O’Grady, Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman and Councilmember Priscilla Tyson, along with The Columbus Foundation, announced 60 winners of a community garden grant program supported by the City of Columbus, Franklin County, Franklin Park Conservatory, and Scotts Miracle-Gro. Attesting to the important role played by community gardens, Mayor Coleman said, “These gardens are beautifying our community while simultaneously providing access to fresh, local foods.”
Erin Chacey, director of Green Columbus and Dan Weisenbach, CEO of Weisenbach Recycled Products and a Green Columbus board member, accepted a proclamation given by Mayor Coleman in recognition of Earth Day and in appreciation for Green Columbus’ efforts in coordinating the largest volunteer effort for Earth Day anywhere in the world.
In addition, the United States Postal Service took part in the celebration with an unveiling of the new Forever “Go Green” Stamp. The stamp continues a 50-year tradition of issuing a social awareness stamp. The sheet of Forever stamps, designed by California artist Eli Noyes of San Francisco, features 16 actions anyone can take to make a positive impact on the environment.
Tad Dritz, founder of Green Columbus, gave the Earth Day address encouraging people to lighten their impact on the planet. Dritz also announced the 2011 Earth Day Challenge Cup winners with awards going to the K-12 school, non-profit, and business that rally the most volunteers. 2011 winners: Colonial Hills Elementary (Worthington), Friends of Alum Creek Tributaries (FACT), and Columbus Metro Parks.
Earth Day 2010: The Update
In total, 3,679 volunteers were involved with community service projects and the celebration at Franklin Park. These volunteers put in about 13,500 person-hours cleaning up neighborhoods, planting about 8,000 trees, preparing community gardens and otherwise caring for the natural and urban environment across central Ohio.
Earth Day 2009: Picture This
Attracted over 2,600 central Ohioans to 70 area worksites. The event spanned two days with all day Saturday, April 18th dedicated to beautifying our city and Sunday, April 19 for the celebration.
Earth Day 2008: Now Get Busy!
Building on the success of the first citywide Earth Day event in 2007, Green Columbus organized and expanded the event in 2008. Volunteers worked 3-4 hour morning shifts at their choice of more than 50 worksites. In total, over 1,400 central Ohioans volunteered 4,700 hours planting trees, cleaning up parks and beautifying communities. At noon, volunteers made their way to Goodale Park for a zero waste celebration.
Earth Day 2007: A Year in a Day
The first citywide event in over a decade was a great success. Our goal of soliciting one person-year (2,000 person-hours) of volunteer labor was surpassed by enabling and encouraging 1,300 central Ohioans to put in over 2,900 person-hours, almost two person-years, at 42 worksites throughout the area. The morning work activities were followed by a celebration at Goodale Park which featured a free lunch for morning volunteers, booths for environmental organizations and green businesses, live music, and speakers, including Mayor Michael B. Coleman.