Publisher’s Corner: 30 Years Of Earth Day In St. Louis

This is the official 30-year anniversary of St. Louis Earth Day. The Healthy Planet magazine has been a co-sponsor ever since our inception in 1997. That Earth Day Celebration in Tower Grove Park was our coming out party. I set up a table at the event and handed out our very first edition. I was excited and frightened by the what to expect from what I had hoped was a like-minded crowd. My fears were quickly put to rest as so many people said they were so happy to see such a publication in St. Louis. So we have been a big part of Earth Day for the past 22 years. I think I attended a few of the early Earth Day celebrations in the early years at Forest Park which consisted of some people playing guitars and wearing tie-dyed shirts. Much like many still do at recent Earth Day celebrations. Those first Earth Day festivals we attended were smaller than they are today. And it seemed like there was more protesting going on. A giant Monsanto puppet carried around by the Gateway Greens was a mainstay for a number of years. And of course as long as I can remember the All Species Parade was led by my good friend Jean Ponzi. There were many people responsible for making St. Louis Earth Day such a great event. Jerry Klamon and Laura Newman-Howe, David and Karla Wilson, Terri F. Reilly, Cassandra Phillips and Jen Myerscough. And hats off to all of the wonderful volunteers and staff who make the festival and associated Earth Day events such a big part of creating an eco-friendly St. Louis. Putting on such an event as Earth Day is monumental. Each Earth Day Festival has it’s own personality. Weather, location, crowd size, political climate, have all played a big part in each and every one of our memories of that certain Earth Day Festival you attended. Most of all, it’s just a good time to enjoy the outdoors and investigating the many green, civic and unique businesses and organizations that you might never have known existed. I can guarantee that every single Earth Day I have attended, I have been amazed at what new groups have popped up, that in their own way have shared the mission of creating a more sustainable planet for all of us. If you are reading this column, the odds are pretty great you have been to one or multiple Earth Day Festivals. But if you haven’t, you have to experience it for yourself. It’s kid and pet-friendly and bring your appetite as there are many food and drink vendors as well as live music, dance and yoga. It may bring out the hippie in you. And who can’t use a little peace and love these days! Look inside this edition of The Healthy Planet to find out more about St. Louis Earth Day.

Congratulations to the Missouri Coalition for the Environment in celebration of 50 years. While the rest of us are enjoying fresh air, clean water, and non-hazardous communities, the Coalition is fighting for laws to protect our environment. Thank you!

See You At Earth Day, J.B. Lester; Publisher