Earth Day 1990

By Beth Heinecamp

On Sunday, April 22, Milwaukee will celebrate Earth Day 1990. This event will be the largest Earth Day celebration the city has ever hosted. The Milwaukee Earth Day Coalition, organizer of the event, is expecting between 5,000 and 10,000 participants. Admission is free, and all events will be held in Central Park, 2401 W. Wisconsin Ave. A parade will gather at 12:30 and begin marching at 1:00 p.m., when the festival officially begins. The daylong event will include musical and theatrical entertainment, and a diversity of workshops, speakers, participatory children’s activities, and food.

Among the featured speakers is Alex Cockburn, author of Corruptions of Empire and The Fate of the Forest. Mr. Cockburn, a radical social critic, has been a columnist for such newspapers as Isthmus, The Village Voice, The Nation, and In These Times. His presentations will focus on the connection between the economy and the environment. Other speakers include Dr. Al Gedick on the copper mining controversy in northern Wisconsin, and Nancy Frank and Dan Small, hosts of “Outdoor Wisconsin.”

Musical entertainment will include an assortment of folk, jazz, and rock bands. Among performers are Blackhawk, a Native American folk musician; Leroy Airmaster, blues band; and Black Star Reggae, a Madison reggae band. Madison’s Broom Street Theatre and Milwaukee’s Dance Circus will perform. Of particular interest to teachers is the ‘Lesson Plan and Home Survey’ developed by the National Earth Day 1990 Coalition. For students from kindergarten through the 12th grade, the ‘Lesson Plan’ is a set of three lessons which introduce environmental issues, and the ‘Home Survey’ teaches students how to conduct their own home survey. The goal of this is to help children become aware of the connection between environmental practices at home and broader problems such as land and water pollution. The packets are available through the Schlitz Audubon Center (352-2880). Also, parade organizers need art teachers and their students to share their creativity and add to the parade’s artistic flair by making signs, posters, ecology flags, animal masks, totem poles, etc.

In case of rain, it will be moved indoors to buildings adjacent to the park.

The Coalition is also sponsoring a number of fundraising events, including a Bike-a-Thon on April 14 and a Holly Near/Claudia Schmidt Concert on April 23. For more information, or to volunteer to help with any of these events, call 263-5760.