History of Earth Day
It was intended to be a ‘teach in’ to coelesce those wishing to create conditions where we could be better stewards of our environment, not just in the US but across the globe.
An unlikely trio was largely behind creation of Earth Day. Senator Nelson was concerned about the fire on Ohio’s Cuyahoga river, a massive oil spill off Santa Barbara and other environmental red flags, and recruited conservative-minded republican senator Pete McCloskey to serve as co-chair. Much of the legwork was done by Denis Hayes, whose efforts inspired millions and created a sustainable movement that lives on. Today Hayes runs the Bullit Foundation, endowed in 1991 to provide grants and other programs to help those working to improve the environment. Though the foundation will cease grantmaking in 2024, it has provided over $200 million in grants and has built a sustainable office building in the Pacific Northwest, which hosts groups working for environmental causes at substantially reduced office rates.