Goddard Celebrates Earth Day 2009
Kenji Williams playing the violin Kenji Williams plays his violin against a green screen as part of the BellaGaia presentation. Goddard's TV studio control room replaced the green screen background with NASA imagery during the webcast. Credit: NASA/Wade Sisler
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Goddard's TV studio control room Goddard producers monitor the BellaGaia presentation and control the green screen process (called chroma keying) in the TV studio control room. Credit: NASA/Wade Sisler
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an alternate-fuel car at Goddard Goddard employees get a close-up look at one of the center's alternative-fuel vehicles at the Earth Day Environmentally-Friendly Transportation Showcase. Credit: NASA/Pat Izzo
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Employees at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center celebrated the center's numerous conservation efforts in recognition of Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22, 2009.

One of the day's highlights was a presentation on Goddard's Digital Learning Network. The DLN teamed with director and violinist Kenji Williams to present an out of this world experience known as BellaGaia (Beautiful Earth).

This one-of-a-kind multimedia journey of Earth, as observed from space, combined Williams's music with NASA imagery. BellaGaia was presented to students and teachers around the world during two webcasts from the Goddard studio.

Other activities included a morning presentation on the impact of urban growth on local metropolitan areas. Presenters included Jeff Masek, Lahouari Bounoua and Laura Rocchio of Goddard’s Biospheric Sciences Branch. Goddard’s environmental conservation programs and some Earth science missions were on display.

During the Recycling Olympics event, employees challenged their recycling knowledge. The activity brought a better understanding and awareness of the various materials that are recycled at Goddard.

Later, Goddard employees ventured outside for a showcase of the center's environmentally friendly vehicles. Employees learned about carpooling options, bus routes and other commuter programs.

Closing the Center’s 2009 Earth Day celebration was a special 50th Anniversary presentation about Goddard’s land use over the past 50 years. Alan Binstock, Goddard master planner, shared images of Goddard’s past land use and plans for future land use.

Earth Day at Goddard does not end on April 22. Planting of native greenery in the rain garden will take place after Earth Day on April 30. The Rain Garden will beautify Goddard’s landscape and facilitate the infiltration of storm water into the ground to filter pollutants and allow groundwater resurgence.

On May 5, employees are invited to help remove invasive plants that pose a threat to local wetlands. Goddard’s Earth Day team will teach about invasives and why they are detrimental, and how to identify the three species of concern.

Goddard's Earth Day bike rally will also be held in May. Originally scheduled for April 22, the event was postponed due to rain.

Earth Day was born in 1970 as a result of attempts by former Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson to include conservation on the political agenda. It was declared a day to express environmental concerns and increase conservation.

For all of Goddard’s Earth Day activities, visit http://earthday.gsfc.nasa.gov.