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Earth Day 2023: Celebrating and Supporting Wildlife in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

Have you heard?! April is Earth Month! 

Earth Day falls on April 22 every year, but Earth Month is a month-long celebration of the planet and how we can make it a better place. It’s a time to raise awareness for the issues impacting the environment around us. This observance started as a result of the harmful air and water pollution that occurred around the United States in the 1960s. A national demonstration was organized to raise awareness about these issues. By 1970, the U.S. government responded by forming the Environmental Protection Agency. April 22, 1970, marked the first commemoration of Earth Day.

As we head into Earth Month, it’s an excellent time to start planning how you’d like to celebrate. One of the largest Earth Day celebrations in the state, the Gallatin Valley Earth Day Festival, takes place on Saturday, April 22 this year. This year’s Earth Day theme focuses on wildlife in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Kick off the day with a 5k fun run to support the Indreland Audubon Wetland Preserve. Then take a stroll over to the Emerson Center in Bozeman for a jam-packed day of celebrating. There will be no shortage of Earth Day fun between children’s activities, countless exhibits, presentations, and live music! Visit to learn more about this spectacular event. 

Our planet is unique and incredible and needs humans’ help to thrive. Aside from the special activities happening around the Gallatin Valley this month, you can observe Earth Day every day by following these tips:

  • Save your food waste and create garden gold: instead of throwing your food scraps in the garbage can, consider saving them to make compost. Composting reduces waste in landfills, decreases greenhouse gas emissions, and adds nutrients to the soil if you use it yourself! If you do not have a garden or space to use compost, there are services in Gallatin Valley that will haul it away. Check out Happy Trash Can or Yes Compost to sign up today! 
  • Don’t be trashy: bring your reusable bags, boxes, or containers to the store to carry groceries. Plastic bags are only used for an average of 12 minutes but may take up to 1000 years to break down. Aside from the significant environmental impact of plastic bags, this trash often ends up in the stomachs of wildlife. Wild animals often mistake plastic shopping bags for food. One of the most accessible ways to avoid this pollution and harmful effect is by remembering your own bag! 
  • Get involved with your local Conservation District: between a cost-share program for landowners, free educational workshops, an ample community garden space, and so much more, the Gallatin Conservation District is here to serve you! Don’t forget about our free Rancher Roundtable series happening monthly until June. Visit to learn more.
  • Support your neighbor: in Gallatin County, it’s never been easier to shop local. Whether it’s fresh eggs from a local farmer, a pair of skis from Goodwill, or mouthwatering bread from Wheat Montana, you can undoubtedly support your community in this area. Strengthen the local economy and invest in your community by shopping locally! 
  • Pool it: save energy and cash by carpooling! Carpooling helps reduce fuel consumption, pollution, and money. You’ll be doing the planet a favor by hopping in the car with a friend. Feeling adventurous? Hop on your bike, scooter, or even roller skis to get from point A to point B.
  • Recycle: you know the drill. Recycling has countless benefits: it reduces our need for new materials, conserves energy, reduces pollution, and the list goes on… Do your part and learn more about our local recycling programs. The Gallatin Solid Waste Management District provides 17 FREE drop-off sites for recycling in Amsterdam-Churchill, Belgrade, Bozeman, Gallatin Gateway, Manhattan, Big Sky, and Three Forks.
  • Plant with purpose: the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second best time is now. Trees produce oxygen while simultaneously filtering pollution. Plant a tree in your yard or get involved in a local planting for Arbor Day this year! 

There are so many ways to better our environment and community every day. Happy Earth Month from the Gallatin Conservation District and remember, “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito in the room.”

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