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The University of Illinois at Chicago Circle (now UIC) was a hub for the first Earth Day. (Courtesy UIC archives)

Chicago was a hub for environmental activism on the first Earth Day, and it remains a pioneer today.

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Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders’ photograph of the first earthrise witnessed by humans. (NASA)

Apollo 8 astronauts were the first to ever witness an earthrise, a view of the planet that put its fragility into perspective and helped propel the environmental movement.

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(Daniel Dionne / Flickr)

We discuss the history of Earth Day and the environmental challenges the planet is facing today with Denis Hayes, the organizer of the very first event in 1970, and local environmental activist Kim Wasserman.

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April 22 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. (qimono / Pixabay)

Environmental organizations have had to scale back plans for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Get ready for lots of livestreams and calls for digital action this week. Here’s a sampling of what’s on offer.

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Picking up litter while jogging or walking — also known as “plogging” — is a great solo Earth Day activity. (Visit Viljandi / Flickr)

In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, we’re going to have to clean up the planet individually. Creative ideas from the Earth Day Network include “plogging” and #TrashTag.

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An image of Lurie Garden took top prize in the Royal Horticultural Society's 2020 photo competition. (Helen McLain / Royal Horticultural Society)

An image of Lurie Garden in full summer bloom—and it’s “wonderfully romantic glow”—was declared the overall winner in the Royal Horticultural Society’s annual competition.

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The Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory. (Image courtesy Argonne National Laboratory)

Scientists and engineers across the planet are desperately searching for ways to combat the new coronavirus. A significant part of that effort is taking place just west of Chicago.

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A still image from a video taken of the demolition of the Crawford Coal Plant smokestack, April 11, 2020. (Alejandro Reyes / YouTube)

Lawsuits have now been filed against the developer and other parties involved in the mishandled demolition of a former coal plant in Little Village, which recently left the neighborhood covered in a plume of unknown particles. 

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Vegetable gardening looks to be the next homebound hobby. (Patty Wetli / WTTW)

Garden centers are juggling an anticipated increase in demand with social distancing concerns. Now, many are offering online ordering, no-contact delivery and curbside pickup as options.

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Motorists huddle together after a 54 car pile-up early morning on the Kennedy Expressway Wednesday, April 15, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo / Paul Beaty)

Portions of a Chicago expressway left icy by a wintry blast that brought overnight snowfall led to a pileup involving of dozens of vehicles early Wednesday, sending 14 people to hospitals, officials said.

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Chicagoans woke up to a covering of snow Wednesday. (Patty Wetli / WTTW)

Could this year get any worse? Well yeah, it could. It once snowed in June, according to the National Weather Service.

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A still image taken from a video showing the demolition of the Crawford Power Generating Station smokestack in Little Village on Saturday, April 11, 2020. (Alejandro Reyes / YouTube)

Hilco Redevelopment Partners issues an apology and outlined corrective actions following a demolition that left the Little Village neighborhood covered by a plume of dust over the weekend.

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On Tuesday morning, the moon appeared at the far "right" of a Mars-Saturn-Jupiter string. (Photo by Joe Guzman)

The moon will align with Mars, Saturn and Jupiter in the pre-dawn hours this week.

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(U.S. Air Force photo / Airman 1st Class Andrew Moua)

Patients who have recovered from the coronavirus can help those struggling to fight the disease, as part of a clinical trial just launched by University of Chicago Medicine – the first trial of its kind in the area.

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A still image taken from a video showing the demolition of the Crawford Power Generating Station smokestack in Little Village on Saturday, April 11, 2020. (Alejandro Reyes / YouTube)

Chicago is investigating the demolition of a former coal plant in Little Village and halting additional work at the site following an uproar over the smokestack’s implosion, which sent a plume of fine powder all over the neighborhood.

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The 20-acre West Ridge Nature Preserve is temporarily closed. (John Iwanski / Flickr)

An influx of visitors has made social distancing difficult, so the preserve was padlocked over the weekend. Nearby, Rosehill Cemetery has also closed its grounds to the general public.

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