Events are being planned for Earth Day 2014: Gratitude. The week will include more than 100 work sites and will finish up with a celebration at Columbus Commons.

Earth Day 2014: Gratitude

As usual, the Earth Day celebration continues with another Beastie Boys song as the theme. This year's theme for the celebration, to take place April 19-26, is Gratitude. I'm not sure about you, but I have lots to be thankful for. Central Ohio's green community does too in my mind-because of the number of people who care about our environment, the food we grow and eat and our overall health. The local "earth day week' will end with a big celebration at Columbus Commons on April 26.

Volunteering for the event is easy and for all ages. Groups gather to plant trees, clean riverbanks, tend to gardens, kids activities and more. A bunch of kids and parents were with the group I volunteered with to remove garlic mustard from Highbanks Metro Park last year. I think we all had a good time and the kids had fun hunting for the plants. To volunteer, visit

Some fun facts: More than 16,000 trees have been planted in the past four years through Green Columbus Earth Day initiatives. Trees are important because they help clean the air we breathe. A number of community gardens have been planted, too, allowing people to plant and grow their own fresh food.

I hope you are able to join us to make a positive impact on the environment and the people of central Ohio. The goal is to have 5,000 volunteers this year at more than 100 different sites throughout central Ohio.