Sarasota County was selected by the United Nations Environment Programme’s Regional Office for North America (UNEP RONA) as the official North American host community for World Environment Day (WED) 2014.
More than just a single day of environmentally focused events, the WED celebration launched on Earth Day in April and bridged the globe—and the months—with programs and events through June 5. Sarasota County's launch was held at Oscar Scherer State Park in Osprey, during its 25th annual Earth Day celebration on April 27. The events culminated with a Community Forum and International Children's Painting Competition Exhibit on June 5. Dozens of nature walks, classes, workshops and volunteer events also occurred between these two dates. Find more information about all these events on the WED Celebration
page and listed in the Local Events Guide
. In total, more than 7,100 people participated in 55 WED affliated events organized by 18 organizing partners.
This year’s WED theme focused on the small island developing states, places particularly threatened by environmental changes. Sarasota County was chosen to host this year’s WED events because it is a coastal community facing similar challenges, and also because of its positive and proactive environmental track record, according to UNEP RONA.
Since its inception in 1972, WED has grown into a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in more than 100 countries. It also serves as grassroots inspiration for individuals and groups to do something positive for the environment, galvanizing creative individual actions into a collective power that has the potential to generate an exponential positive impact around the world.