Style magazine has a nice interview with Beth Marschak, one of the founders of the Richmond Earth Day celebration (and a former Oregon Hill resident).
Here’s an excerpt:
Beth Marschak, now an HIV prevention specialist, was 20 when she helped organize the city’s inaugural Earth Day at Monroe Park in 1971.
In a nod to Saturday’s yearly acknowledgement of the planet, Style spoke with Marschak about some of the progress made — and to worry about the future.
Style: Why did you want to bring Earth Day to Richmond?
Marschak: I was in a student group at Westhampton-University of Richmond called S.H.A.M.E – Studying and Halting the Assault on Man and Environment. That was back when people liked names like that.
Most of the people in our group were science majors. I was a chemistry major at that time. People had a fairly sophisticated view of the problems affecting the environment and ecology from a scientific standpoint.
And, of course, if you looked at the James River back then, it was terrible. Sewage was going directly into the river. You would not want to get into it. Now people tube down it and swim in it and fish. You could not do that then. You wouldn’t put a toe in it.
So it was really one of those things where, right here in this area, you could see some major impacts from not having policies protecting clean water, clean air.
She also recently wrote a letter to the Planning Commission, asking that they spare remaining mature trees in Monroe Park. However the Planning Commission voted in favor of removing the trees.