Submitted by State of Pennsylvania
"Even though Earth Day isn't until April 22, now is the time to begin planning activities to teach young people and everyone about how they can better protect the environment," Secretary Hess said. "The member organizations of the PCEE and our partners have put together another great packet of materials educators can use to teach about this year's theme."
The theme for Earth Day 2003 is
"Sustainability for Pennsylvania -- It's In Our Hands."
"Sustainability is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs," said Jack Farster, Director of Environmental Education for DEP. "The contents of the annual Earth Day packet give teachers, home schoolers and all educators creative tools to address an important topic -- sustainability -- that few people really understand."
This year the packet includes a "Sustainability for Pennsylvania" poster and bookmarks, Pennsylvania's important bird areas, how kids can explore nature in their own neighborhood and even a packet of sweet corn for students to plant a "Three Sisters" garden used by native Americans.
The materials provide background information on the concept of sustainability in 10 different topic areas: agriculture, forestry, industry, products and services, land use, technology, energy, water resources, wild resources, and economics.
The PCEE mailing reaches schools throughout Pennsylvania, as well as conservation education organizations, and includes items from DEP, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, the Department of Agriculture, the Pennsylvania Alliance for Environmental Education and the State System of Higher Education.
"I would particularly like to thank the Thunder Mountain Lenape Nation and the Pennsylvania Biodiversity Partnership for their contributions to this year's packet," Secretary Hess said. "They offer a unique perspective on sustainability and are resources many people in Pennsylvania may not be aware of."
This year's other special partners include: the Environmental Fund for Pennsylvania's http://www.GreenWorks.tv; National Wildlife Federation; Audubon of Pennsylvania; and PPL Corp.
"We also have created a special website -- http://www.SustainablePa.org -- to be a resource for Earth Day 2003 and beyond," Secretary Hess said. "Students, teachers and anyone else can find information on how we can all make decisions that will ensure a sustainable future for Pennsylvania."
Educators also will find the materials useful in developing course work to meet requirements of the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Environment and Ecology.
The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970, after U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin had campaigned for many years to dedicate a national day to the preservation of the environment. Each year on Earth Day millions of people throughout the world gather to clean up litter, draw attention to threats to the environment and celebrate progress in reducing pollution.
The Pennsylvania Center for Environmental Education, housed at Slippery Rock University, was established in 1996 by Gov. Tom Ridge to coordinate the development of educational materials and programs through the partnership of 13 different agencies and organizations involved in environmental education.
For more information about Earth Day visit the PA PowerPort at http://www.state.pa.us, PA Keyword: "Earth Day Central."
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