Earth Day evolved from a national teach-in on the environment in 1970, an idea from Wisconsin's own senator, Gaylord Nelson. He felt that attention to environmental issues was fundamental to the healthy survival of our planet and that teaching and spreading awareness would inspire action and political support. Nelson was correct and Earth Day now spans over 150 countries and was April 22 was designated International Mother Earth Day by the United Nations in 2009. UW-Madison is home to The Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies which holds an annual Earth Day Conference. This video collages participants' thoughts from last year's conference.
This year Wisconsin's Water Library is proud to be collaborating with The Rosemary Garfoot Public Library (RGPL) in Cross Plains, Wisconsin's first green library, to put on a special Earth Day storyhour presentation. RGPL does have a special environmental collection that you can read about here, and these books do circulate to Madison Public libraries as well. See the Water Library's reading list on environmental activism books for kids. There is also a wealth of additional information about Earth Day at this website.
Video credit: Nelson Institute at UW-Madison