A couple of days ago we looked ahead to this week's Earth Day with an appropriately bleak outlook from a federal government perspective. But we can't let Earth Day 2014 go by without an appreciation for the importance of environmental activism at the local level. Because even if we can't trust our elected officials in Washington to do the right thing, we can still make an impact here at home.
For example, the announcement that Madison has been named the Greenest City in America is a welcome recognition of the hard work the city has done on keeping up our city parks and encouraging walking, biking and taking public transportation to work. It's the combination of such policies at the local level that will have to make up for the willful neglect at the federal level.
And the continuation of the 20 year tradition of the Madison Parks office partnering with a Madison public school – Lake View Elementary this year – to celebrate Earth Day with a day of service is important because it is our young people who will have to clean up the mess today's politicians are leaving to them. Sad, but true.