Hall of Fame News – 2013

Every Day is Earth Day

In retrospect, the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, marks the beginning of the modern environmental movement in the United States. It was the precursor of the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. In 1990, Earth Day went global, making people worldwide realize that we all have to work at protecting our environment.

It is hard to imagine that at one time it was acceptable for a chemical company to dispose of toxic chemicals at Love Canal, chemicals that eventually leached into homes, a school and a park. Or that at one time Lake Erie was dying and that the other Great Lakes were threatened by pollution from the steel plants, oil refineries, paper mills, and city sewage plants, which for the previous hundred years had been dumping into the world’s largest fresh water system. Or that it was thought perfectly safe for homeowners to pour toxic chemicals on their lawns and yards and then let their kids and pets play in them.

Earth Day came about at a time when people were becoming more aware of environmental concerns. Individuals came together and made a difference for the environment. At that time Lorrie Otto was instrumental in the banning of DDT, first in Wisconsin in 1969 and in the nation in 1972. Then, in 1977, nine people in Milwaukee, Wisconsin attended a natural landscaping workshop led by Lorrie Otto. Lorrie was intent upon “healing the Earth one yard at a time” from the damage caused by DDT. These nine people created Wild Ones Natural Landscapers, and based on Lorrie’s philosophy, began teaching others about using native plants and natural landscaping….

Today, we can do our part to not only celebrate Earth Day, but to make every day Earth Day. – Tim Lewis, President Wild Ones Natural Landscapers Ltd.