An Earth Day Message

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Earth Day 2021 and 1915

In 1970, then Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin worked to establish the first Earth Day, both as a celebration of and a commitment to our precious planet Earth. Since that time, each April 22 has offered an opportunity for organizations and individuals everywhere to review and renew commitments to preserve the many natural gifts bestowed by our planet.  SUNY Morrisville is again doing its part to help the environment and to celebrate Earth Day, today, April 22. 

We are currently running an #EarthDayEveryDay social media campaign, through April 30, encouraging the SUNY Morrisville community to share photos of any cleanup or sustainability efforts with us so they can be featured on our social media channels. Please encourage your students to participate. In addition,

  • The Conservation Tri-Society (CTS) held an Earth Day hike this past Saturday (April 17) at Chittenango Falls State Park, which included 15 participants. Each hiker received two reusable bags, a reusable water bottle, a reusable straw and a list of tips for being green at home. The CTS also is doing an Earth Day campus cleanup this week.
  • Some of our students participated in a student-led virtual conference, The Student Efforts to Advance Sustainability in New York (SEAS NY) on April 17. The student-founded conference aims to engage, inspire and empower students to enact sustainable change on campuses in New York State. 

An Early View From 1915

While many of us are quite aware of Earth Day’s 1970 origins, only a few are aware that one of Morrisville’s founding trustees, Liberty Hyde Bailey, authored many articles and monographs affirming the symbiotic relationships between agriculture, our social fabric, and our precious planet. Indeed, one of his most famous monographs was entitled The Holy Earth, written long before any Earth Day celebration. (It was reprinted in 2015 and is available on and elsewhere). 

As Dean of the Ag School at Cornell, Dean Bailey often described farmers as “natural caretakers.” That characterization resonates with many agricultural imperatives being adopted today. Most of these have evolved from scientific and technological advances that Dean Bailey could not have predicted. Still, these practices are increasingly fundamental to the role of farmers as modern day caretakers. It is no accident that on this year’s Earth Day website, you can even take a short quiz on the topic of regenerative agriculture. (Note: A score of six out of ten makes you an agriculture expert. Overly generous but much appreciated!)

As we celebrate Earth Day 2021, let us take special pride in the knowledge that Morrisville was founded by a pioneer in both agriculture and education, one who would be proud of the commitment we have made to educate generations of leaders who have become contemporary “caretakers” of his Holy Earth.