Celebrating Our Natural Heritage: Earth Day 2008

Earth Day 2008In an effort to draw attention to environmental issues, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson, announced during a September 1969 conference in Seattle that he would stage a nationwide grassroots demonstration on behalf of the environment the following spring.

On April 22, 1970, more than 20 million demonstrators and thousands of schools and local communities participated in Nelson's demonstration. That April demonstration succeeded and led to what we now know as Earth Day.

Earth Day by the numbers:

The little piece of the Earth known as the Show-Me State has tremendous natural resources to celebrate this Earth Day.

14 million acres
Amount of the state covered with forested acres.

One Third
Portion of Missouri covered by forests.  Most of Missouri's recreation and tourism industry is centered in forested regions of the state.

What Missouri ranks, out of the 20 northeastern states in the amount of forested acreage. Only New York, Michigan, Maine, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Wisconsin have more forest land.

40 percent
Percent of forest fires deliberately set each year. Arson accounts for at least one out of every three forest fires every year.

13 tons
Amount of dust and gases taken from the air every year by one acre of trees.

500 trillion
Estimated amount of potable groundwater contained in Missouri’s aquifers that needs little or no treatment before it is safe for use.

Acres of water in Missouri.

Miles of rivers and streams in Missouri.

15.7 million
Number of visitors to Missouri state parks and historic sites in 2007.

Earth Day Events - 2008

Kansas City - April 19th
Bridging The Gap - 2008 Annual Kansas City EarthWalk and EarthFest
Walking and/or raising money for the Kansas City EarthWalk directly supports environmental education and awareness in Kansas City.  The Kansas City EarthFest includes entertainment, exhibitors and vendors.

Columbia - April 22nd
Vote for the Earth
This is the nineteenth consecutive year Columbia will be gathering in the downtown area. Columbia’s Earth Day Festival draws thousands of people to enjoy the music, listen to the speakers, participate in the activities, visit booths at the street fair, learn more about environmental concerns, and honor the earth.

St. Louis - April 22nd
Earth Day Festival 2008
The 18th annual St. Louis Earth Day Festival will be held in Forest Park, bringing people together for celebration, education, and stewardship through Earth Day.

Jefferson City - April 25th
Our Environmental Footprint
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources sponsors and hosts this event at the Capitol each year. Activities include information booths, games and displays about the environment. Many other state and federal agencies participate through educational displays and exhibits.

Easy Energy Saving Tips

  • Make the switch. Buy or switch to energy efficient lighting fixtures and bulbs. Look for the EnergyStar label to help save you money on energy bills and pollute less.
  • eCycle - take your old computer, DVD player, or other electronics to a recycling center. This helps keep hazardous substances out of the landfill.
  • Shower power! A full bath tub requires about 70 gallons of water, while taking a five-minute shower saves water by using 10 to 25 gallons.
  • Make it a full load. The average washing machine uses 41 gallons of water per load. Buy a high-efficiency washer or save up for full loads.
  • Take reusable bags on shopping trips. Keep them in your car or near your door to remember. You can also reuse paper or plastic shopping bags.
For more energy saving tips, visit
Mo. Dept. of Conservation
Mo. Dept. of Natural Resources
Forest Product Industries Economic Impact Brief - MERIC



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