Earth Day, a global event observed annually on April 22nd since its origin in 1970, serves to raise awareness and appreciation for the natural world, promoting environmental protection and conservation. Over the years, the initiative has grown exponentially, engaging more than one billion individuals in diverse activities and campaigns across 193 countries, as reported by the Earth Day Network. These efforts contribute to both local and international environmental causes, highlighting the need for urgent action in the face of numerous ecological challenges.
The Big Sioux River Greenway Cleanup in Sioux Falls, SD, is a prime example of a local initiative that aligns with the broader Earth Day mission. By involving volunteers in hands-on environmental projects, this annual event promotes a more sustainable world, directly impacting the health and beauty of the Big Sioux River and its surrounding areas. In the United States alone, Earth Day initiatives have led to an estimated 100 million pounds of litter being removed from public spaces, significantly improving the health of local ecosystems, and enhancing the quality of life for both humans and wildlife.
EAPC Architects Engineers, a company dedicated to sustainable development and environmental protection, actively participates in the Big Sioux River Greenway Cleanup each year. The involvement of EAPC employees in Earth Day-related activities helps raise awareness about the importance of environmental protection and encourages more people to act, creating a ripple effect of positive change.
“The Big Sioux River is a vital part of Sioux Falls, providing opportunities for family and friends to come together to live, work, and play. With the continuation of development along the riverfront, it is important that we keep our community clean and sustainable for years to come,” said EAPC project designer, Paige Riddle.
The collective effort of companies like EAPC contributes to the broader impact of Earth Day, which, over the years, has led to several critical eco-achievements, such as the passage of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act in the United States.
The Big Sioux River Greenway Cleanup initiative is supported by the City of Sioux Falls and the Friends of the Big Sioux River organization, a dedicated group of individuals committed to protecting and enhancing the river’s ecosystem. Through their joint endeavors, the Big Sioux River Greenway Cleanup and Friends of the Big Sioux River organization work together to engage the community in environmental stewardship, promote sustainable practices, and improve water quality. By organizing clean-up events, educational programs, and advocacy initiatives, these two entities play a vital role in safeguarding the Big Sioux River for present and future generations, ensuring its ecological vitality and its continued role as a cherished natural resource within the Sioux Falls community.
“At EAPC, we believe that every individual can make a positive impact on their community. Our goal is to extend our influence beyond the built environment, creating a lasting impact on the natural surroundings we share. This year, on Earth Day, our employees and their families will be actively participating in cleaning up one of our city’s most cherished natural landscapes, the Big Sioux River Greenway. This expansive outdoor space offers an inviting gathering spot for residents to enjoy and serves as a harmonious balance between the hard and soft scapes of our habitable environment,” explained EAPC Partner and Architect, Leap Chear.
“As residents of Sioux Falls and the surrounding region, we are fortunate to have access to kayaking, biking, and a variety of parks for recreation. If we can play a small part in cleaning up the riverfront, together we can focus on the bigger picture of positive change for our environment,” added Riddle.
Through the ongoing growth of Earth Day and the expansion of local initiatives worldwide, the importance of eco-stewardship becomes more deeply ingrained in the consciousness of communities, businesses, and governments. By fostering a shared responsibility for the planet’s well-being, Earth Day serves as a catalyst for change and innovation, driving society towards a more sustainable future that benefits not only humans but the entire ecological tapestry that sustains life on Earth.
For more information on the Big Sioux River Greenway Cleanup or to volunteer, please contact the Public Works Environmental Division at 605-367-8276.