In 1958 Olga Owens Huckins wrote a letter to the editor of the The Boston Herald in which she described the death of numerous birds around her property due to the aerial spraying of DDT to kill mosquitos. She sent a copy to her friend, Rachel Carson, already a well-known naturalist and writer, and former Editor-in-Chief of publications for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Carson had already begun collecting research on the effect of pesticides, especially DDT, as far back as the 1940s when it was used extensively during the Pacific war effort. Huckin’s letter, by Carson’s report, was the spark that led her to embark on the project that would eventually become, Silent Spring, the book that many argue launched the environmentalist movement.
This is the 50th anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring. The Tenafly community, along with many others, will be marking this anniversary this Sunday on Earth Day, founded a few years after the publication of Silent Spring, in 1970. Tenafly Interfaith Association, led by Temple Sinai, the Church of the Atonement and the Presbyterian Church at Tenafly, will be holding a brief, interfaith creative service this Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Tenafly Nature Center, in the Pavilion – rain or shine! (The Pavilion is covered in case of rain). If it is not raining you are encouraged to come early and enjoy the trails and nature center before our service. Light refreshments to follow the service. Please bring your own reusable water bottle to refill at the pavilion.
If it is not raining, after refreshments we will carpool in groups to cleanup an area of land along East Clinton Ave. This would be a great project to join in with your kids or grandkids. Safety apparel, traffic cones, and cleanup equipment will be provided by the town of Tenafly. .
It is hard to imagine what our world would be like had the environmental movement not come into being in our country. I wouldn’t want to speculate. And to think that it was one person’s letter to the editor that triggered the book that began this movement which has made this a safer world for all of us….
Hope you can join us on Sunday at the Tenafly Nature Center at 2 pm – rain or shine!