Today is Earth Day and it is known worldwide for raising awareness of issues concerning the environment.

The first Earth Day was held in 1970 with the idea originating from former Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson. Nelson came up with the idea after seeing the damage caused by the massive 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, Ca.

Nelson wanted to use Earth Day as a way to educate the public about environmental concerns. He strived to channel the energy of anti-war protests at the time, and use it as a force for the betterment of the environment.

April 22 was chosen as the date for Earth Day because it lands between college spring break and final exams.

Earth Day 1970 was supported by both Democrats and Republican, which was important due to the social and political division over so many issues at the time.

The first Earth Day is credited with the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts – each accomplished by the end of 1970.

“It was a gamble, but it worked,” Gaylord once said.

Earth Day is celebrated globally by more than a billion people every year. And those people use the day to advocate for changes in policy and public thought towards the environment. It is one of the largest secular observances worldwide.

While there are many global, and national initiatives in observance of Earth Day, local governments and organizations do their part in cleaning up their communities as well.

The Leesville Mayor’s Women’s Commission will hold its annual Spring Trash Bash on April 28. They will be meeting at Liberty Garden next to the Vernon Parish Public Library on West Texas Hwy.

The Trash Bash is a special event where citizens take action to clean up their community by collecting trash and restoring the natural beauty of the area. Student and Youth organization can compete for various prizes. Their will be door prizes and a free lunch for those who participate.