Pitt Earth Day History, 1970 – 2020

On the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, learn more about 50 Years of the University of Pittsburgh’s commitment to the Earth.

Past Earth Day Events From the Pitt Archives

Interested in how Earth Day has been celebrated at the University of Pittsburgh over the past five decades?  Take a stroll down memory lane with us with these excerpts from Documenting Pitt.

March 20, 1970

“Pitt together with members of the Duquesne University and Carnegie Mellon University communities is sponsoring an Environmental Teach-In April 1-4. This program is Pittsburgh’s part of national ‘Earth Day’ to be observed on April 22 (this program starts April 1 because Pitt students will be on semester break on April 22), Topics to be discovered during the teach-in include pollution, quality of life, ecology, population…”

April 13, 1972

• “EARTH WEEK – Frederick Hart, commissioner of air resource, N.Y. City, speaking 7 p.m.; workshops on all phases on environment and population, 8:30 pm sponsored by Environmental Action-Zero Population Growth; GSPH Auditorium”
• “EARTH DAY PEACE CONCERT – Co-sponsored by Environmental Action-Zero Population Growth; 120-121 Lawrence Hall 8 pm”

March 24, 1975

Campus paper featured an article “Activism Lost on Nature ” that was a critique on college student’s commitment to the environment. “ The day of the big clean-ups and the recycling drives appears to be over. It is no because of less abuse, but because of less interest. The issue is no longer ecology but the economy, and the anti-materialist hordes of the late ‘60s, the generation that earned the responsibility to save the world from itself, has apparently “grown up” to complacent middle age.”

April 17, 1980 (10th Anniversary) Pitt Events

  • “Visiting Film-makers Series – Nany Holt, and environmental artist, presents three of her films, in appearance coinciding with Earth Day events of Carnegie Museum of Natural History”
  • “Earth Fair Festival – Education Booths and exhibits by museum curators, environmental and outdoor groups, govt., business, and industry, as part of the Carnegie Institute’s “Earthweek ‘80”
  • “Earth Week Celebration Concert – Mary Travers of “Peter, Paul, and Mary,” performing for Carnegie Institute’s Earth Week salute ecological concerns.”
  • “Earth week ’80 Public Forum – Perspectives on environmental protection by national figures, including Jules Bergman, science journalist of ABC-TV, moderator Joseph T. Ling, vice president. Of environmental engineering and pollution control for 3M corp.”
  • “Earth week ’80 Seminars – Five sessions on ‘Environmental Concerns of Our Community’, concerning hazardous wastes, endangered species, future of Pittsburgh streams and rivers, supporting the management of non-game fish and wildlife, and environmental future of Pittsburgh”

April 6, 1990 (20th Anniversary)

  • “The University will commemorate Earth Day with a series of five lectures on ‘The Politics of the Environment’…”
  • “The lectures will examine the dynamics of environmental politics and policies at the local, state, national, and international levels, focusing on the key issues facing the community, state, nation and the world. The final lecture will discuss the relationship between the various governmental levels and synthesize the information presented throughout the series.”

April 12, 1990 (20th Anniversary)

  • The Pitt News advertised for the Sierra Club’s Earth Day Celebration at Point Park State Park on Sunday, April 22

April 19, 1990 (20th Anniversary)

  • “An environmental audit, conducted by the campus organization Concerned Leaders for Environmental Action now, has revealed that a component of Agent Orange is used to treat some of the campus lawn areas.”
  • “The chemical 2,4-D, an herbicide used to kill broad-leaved weeds is currently under investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency.”
  • “The audit was conducted in conjunction with the 20th annual Earth Day celebration, which will be observed worldwide on April 22.”

April 18, 1991

  • An article in The Pitt News summarized the Pittsburgh’s Earth Day Coalition’s Plans for an Earth Day Celebration in Frick Park.
  • “Earth Day 1991 will be highlighted this year by Mayor Sophie Masloff’s dedication of the Frick Woods.”
  • “Other events will include an early birding hike, a children’s program with a puppet show, a wildflower sale, and many booths with a spectrum of exhibits and literature about issues such as global warming.”

April 19, 1995 (25th Anniversary)

  • “Members of Pitt’s Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC) collected trash and policed parking lots in preparation for the 25th annual Earth Day this Saturday.”
  • “SEAC started off the week with a Ticket America campaign. SEAC ticketed cars on the Pitt campus for violations such as “unnecessary use of vehicle,” and attached messages urging people to use public transportation to the tickets.”
  • “SEAC held its second recycling drive of the semester Monday and Tuesday of this week.”
  • “SEAC plans to kick off Earth Day weekend with a demonstration encouraging the use of alternate means of transportation. The rally called Critical Mass will begin at 3 p.m. in Market Square…..Following Critical Mass, SEAC will hold a rally at the WPU where they will be joined by Campus Women’s Organization, Students for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Black Action Society, Bisexual Gay, and Lesbian Alliance, and Amnesty International.”
  • “On Earth Day, from 12 to 4 p.m., SEAC and other student and community groups are putting informative booths up on the union lawn”

April 16, 1998

Advertisement for “Earth Day Rally” on the WPU parch from 6pm-midnight

April 16, 2008 (Pitt Johnstown)

An article in the campus newspaper, Advocate, informs the Pitt Johnstown community about the upcoming Earth Day, including tips on how to celebrate Earth Day such as: carpooling, recycling, litter reduction, and the use of tote bags and fluorescent light bulbs.

April 19, 2012

Advertisement in The Pitt News for Dean’s Hour on Thursday, April 19 from 3-4pm in the WPU Lawn “Come Celebrate Earth Day with Dean Humphrey” with “Music, prizes, food, and refreshments”

April 22, 2020

The first-ever virtual Earth Day.  The University of Pittsburgh and others around the world celebrate while social distancing.  Learn more.