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Earth Day is born

Earth Day as you know it today all started with an announcement at Airlie. The year was 1969 and Senator Gaylord Nelson shared his idea for what is now the world’s largest environmental movement with a group of medical and law students participating in a conference here.

Nelson’s forward-thinking concept gathered steam quickly and the very first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970 when 20 million Americans took action to rally for a healthy, sustainable environment in demonstrations that took place coast-to-coast—crossing political divides and bringing people together from all walks of life. By year’s end, the U.S. government created the Environmental Protection Agency.

Rooted in purpose

Twenty-three years after the Senator’s groundbreaking Earth Day announcement, Nelson returned to Airlie to plant a tree in commemoration of that landmark moment. Guests are welcome to relive history by visiting the tree with its honorary plaque near our LEED-certified Pavilion. We hope it inspires you to do your part in protecting the planet and spreading environmental consciousness.

Senator Nelson could not have picked a better place to unveil his plans for Earth Day. We work hard to live up to those ideals every day here at Airlie

-Chuck Smith, Airlie Executive Director