The United Nations calls June 5 World Environment Day. Every year, a different country is chosen as the official host and this year, Canada got the job.
But the environment makes up a massive part of our world and deserves a full week. The Canadian government seems to agree and has deemed this Environment Week in Canada, which conveniently encompasses Clean Air Day on Wed., June 7.
The theme is ‘Connecting People to Nature.’ I’m not sure how they narrow down these wild ideas, but it’s a foundational concept that should be fairly easy to get on board with because, well … science says we are natural. At least most of us.
In all seriousness, the condition of our environment is paramount to our own health, and getting in touch with the environment while looking out for its wellbeing is what’s being encouraged.
As far as global participation, the United Nations is onboard the hashtag boat and encouraging our global population to snap and share pics #WithNature on #WorldEnvironmentDay.
Conveniently timed here in Edmonton is our local participation in the global 100in1Day event, which started in Bogota, Colombia in 2012 as an inclusive movement of civic engagement and is facilitated here by Make Something Edmonton (MSE).
“We’re trying to get 100 community-led projects happening on one day to try and take plain, under-utilized space and turn it into a place for people to gather and enjoy and be a community together,” says Kassandra Kitz, communications associate with the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC).
A partnership between EEDC and the City of Edmonton made MSE possible, but it was originally an idea that sprouted from our vibrant citizenry.
“The whole idea behind [MSE] was originally brought to life by Todd Babiuk to tell stories about Edmonton and all the great things happening here and really be a housing place for all the projects and creative ideas that are citizen-driven and don’t really know where to live,” says Kitz.
After kicking off the near-identical DIYCity in 2015, MSE got on the global band wagon of 100in1Day and launched in Edmonton last year. With that experience, there were a few kinks ironed out and this Sat., June 3 will see creativity blossom all around our city.
Edmontonians were able to submit project ideas online with a solid execution plan that MSE funded and facilitated. The range of projects is immense, from YEG Kite Day to 100 red Adirondack chairs on 118 Avenue, a free barbeque in Beaver Hills Park and community planting, composting and seed bombing. A full list of projects can be found at makesomethingedmonton.ca/100in1day/.
“There’s a salsa sidewalk where a group is painting footprints that kind of mock a salsa dance on the corner of Saskatchewan Drive and 109 Street, so you can just go, step on the footprints and salsa on the side of the street,” says Kitz, while listing off some personal highlights of what’s to come. “We have two murals that will be permanent following 100in1Day, and tree planting at the provincial archive building, so we’re just hoping some of these projects live on and continue to make a vibrant city.”
While you’re out and about, you can add #100in1dayYEG to your hashtag blitz.
Besides the dozens and dozens of projects popping up this weekend, and the environment all around you, there are a number of other events to celebrate Environment Week here at home: