Editorial: Honoring the Earth

Two events that should focus our attention on the Earth fall during this week — Earth Day and Arbor Day.
Arbor Day had its beginnings in the Great Plains of this country when a pioneer named J. Sterling Morton moved from Detroit to the Nebraska Territory in 1854. A journalist, he became editor of a major Nebraska newspaper and used this platform to promote his love of trees. His campaign was lengthy but so successful that Nebraska had its first Arbor Day on April 10, 1872, when more than one million trees were planted in the young state. Since then, Arbor Day has been adopted by every state, although it is not celebrated at the same time in each.
Wilton will mark Arbor Day on the traditional day, the last Friday of April, April 24, with a celebration at 5 p.m. on the Town Green. After the reading of a proclamation by First Selectman Bill Brennan and the naming of this year’s tree steward, the Wilton Tree Committee will unveil its Notable Tree List for Wilton. The list will recognize public and private trees that are notable for being the biggest, oldest, or rarest in town, for being associated with a historical event or for their value to the community. The committee will also present an updated plan for the planting of new trees in Wilton Center and Merwin Meadows. The community is invited to this event.
Those who would actually like to see a tree being planted may visit Young’s Nurseries on Route 7 Saturday, April 25, when the company will plant a 30-foot pin oak to replace the 40-year-old pin oak that until recently was synonymous with the nursery. The community is invited to join in the festive event.
Wednesday, April 22, was Earth Day. In the 45 years since the first Earth Day, we have seen many changes. In 1970, American cars guzzled gas by the gallon through massive V8 engines, smog lingered over our cities, polluted rivers were literally on fire, and acid rained down everywhere from factories across the land. Recycling as we know it was just coming into being.
Wilton will have an Earth Day of its own May 3 with the Wilton Go Green Festival. The festival is dedicated to sustainable living, and there will be many opportunities to learn and be entertained. There will be wildlife ambassadors, electric cars, children’s activities, more than 70 craftsmen and exhibitors, live music, paper shredding, and information on recycling and sustainable living. For details, visit wiltongogreen.org.
Finally, perhaps the last word in recycling is the Minks to Sinks tag sale, where to reuse something is a raison d’etre. Instead of adding to the waste stream by throwing unwanted, but usable, items away, bring them to the sale site ahead of time to donate or consign. Instead of buying new, see what you can repurpose by shopping the sale. Check minkstosinks.info for details. Think of it as environmentally friendly retail therapy!