Since America celebrated the 50th anniversary of "Earth Day" last year, we saw weather disasters all over the globe. In our country, we witnessed devastating wildfires, a wild hurricane season and the 2nd hottest year on record. Closer to home, in August, a destructive derecho blew across Iowa leaving a path of destruction.

Which all leads to a very appropriate theme for this year's Earth Day, "Restore Our Earth”. It's a very optimistic theme, considering the past year, as our planet continues to go through radical climate change and it's inhabitants deal with a deadly pandemic.

The event is held annually on Thursday, April 22, a day where we take the time to appreciate our connection to Earth and to raise awareness of our own environmental challenges right here in Iowa and in the Cedar Valley. As listed in the WCF Courier, there are several different options to celebrate Earth Day in the area on Thursday and this Saturday.

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Thursday, April 22 - Earth Day College Hill Clean-up - The College Hill Partnership -
The College Hill Partnership event calendar has all the details about the clean-up event that is happening Thursday afternoon from 2 until 4:30. Green Iowa AmeriCrops Land and Water Stewards, ThreeHouse Collaborative Campus Ministries, and the CHP are organizing the clean up of College Hill. For more information click here.

Now through Saturday, April 24 - Cedar Falls City-wide Clean-up Week -
According to the city of Cedar Falls' website, 30-gallon blue collection bags will be available at no charge and can be picked up at the Public Works Building (2200 Technology Parkway) and the Transfer Station (1524 State Street) during normal business hours. See their website for more details.

Saturday, April 24 - 9am til Noon - Cedar Trails Partnership Annual trail clean-up -
The Cedar Valley’s trail system encompasses hundreds of miles. Volunteers can arrange a section of trail to cover. Simply email: trailcleanup20@gmail.com with your name, phone number and number of participants and you'll be contacted with more details. You're not limited to just Earth Day either, you can also volunteer to help clean-up on the days before or after.

Saturday, April 24 - Earth Day Celebration - Good Neighbor Iowa/UNI CEEE -
Good Neighbor Iowa's event on their Facebook page shows all the details as they celebrate their 4th anniversary.
Join your friends and neighbors this Saturday from 10am til noon at the Clay Street Park in Cedar Falls. There'll be a lot attractions and activities including: tree planting, pollinator turf over-seeding demonstration, educational displays, "Turf-to-Prairie" and backyard composting. Plus, check out the baby goats and live music from Amelia & Melina. Social distancing and masks will be required.

Saturday, April 24 - Earth Day Trail Clean-up - Cedar Valley Cyclists
Check out the Cedar Valley Cyclists Facebook page for all the details about their Earth Day Trail Clean Up throughout the Cedar Valley. They'll focus on the Sergeant Road Trail, meet at Veridian Credit Union’s parking lot at 1827 Ansborough Avenue. Arrive by 8:45am and the clean-up will be from 9am til noon.

Saturday, April 24 - Earth Whispers Retreat - Hearst Center for the Arts - Cedar Falls -
The Hearst Center for the Arts at 304 W. Seerley Blvd., will host a day full of activities from 10am until 4pm . Guests can stay the whole day or drop in. Activities include a presentation and documentary films along with a Earth Whispers Retreat. This workshop is limited to 8 people - pre-register here.

Saturday, April 24 - Hazardous waste drop-off - Black Hawk County Solid Waste Management Commission -
The annual Household Hazardous Waste & Electronics Recycling Event will be held this Saturday from 9am til 2pm at the Public Works Complex, 2200 Technology Parkway in Cedar Falls. Black Hawk County residents can get rid of approved items from their homes and garages. For a full list of household hazardous waste you can dispose of and electronics that can be recycled go to Wastetrac.org.

I like what the Good Neighbor Iowa Facebook page says, "Let your backyard, change the world". Yes indeed, the first step to cleaning up our planet, starts with each individual doing their part, and it begins in our own backyard.

Source - WCF Courier

KEEP READING - OPINION - This Cedar Valley Eyesore Needs To Be Demolished

In its heyday, the Rath Packing Company employed 8,500 people. It's still thought of fondly by many as what helped put Waterloo "on the map" and giving many area families a good income to raise their families. When rumors of bankruptcy started in 1979, the company became employee-owned in 1980. Despite many attempts to save it and massive amounts of money invested (from employees and loans from the city of Waterloo) all of those efforts ultimately failed, leading to its demise and liquidation in 1985.

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