The Environmental League of Massachusetts (ELM) is a non-profit organization devoted in protecting Massachusetts’ natural resources. It aims to safeguard the air, land and aquatic resources of this state and has been doing this for 110 years. Established in 1898 as the Massachusetts Forestry Association, initially focused on the acres of forests in this state, the Environmental League has since changed its name and expanded their advocacy efforts to include other natural resources as well. The ELM gets its support from donations from individuals and foundations, membership dues from citizens and organizations and proceeds from fund raising campaigns and special events.
The Environmental League has focused on advocacy on various environmental issues that affect Massachusetts’ natural resources that is essential to the health and quality of life of its residents. Their collaboration issues include the protection of species and their habitats in Massachusetts, issues on climate, preservation of the land and water resources, urban park planning and development, and the prevention of exposure of communities to harmful toxins.
In line with these efforts by the Environmental League of Massachusetts in safeguarding the natural resources for this state, the Earth Night party was established for the benefit of the ELM and its projects. The party aims to raise funds, memberships and awareness to the efforts and work of the Environmental League. Funds come from the purchase of tickets, sponsors and auction of items that came from donations.
Guests would come from a variety of sectors which includes environmentalists, leaders from civic groups, business and industry professionals and concerned citizens. The evening would include a meeting with members form the Congressional House Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming or from other government agencies concerned with the environment. Attendees will enjoy cocktails and dinner and a chance to network with the leaders and movers from all sectors concerned with preserving Massachusetts’ natural resources. The highlight would be the auctions which will generate funds for the ELM.
Aside from the ELM’s advocacy campaign, the group has collaborated with other organizations in the state, region and national level. Working closely with the Environmental Collaborative, a group of over 60 environmental organizations also committed to preserving Massachusetts’ natural resources, plans are being developed to proactively protect the environment and the health of all citizens.
The ELM has made astounding achievements for the environment. One of the most profound is the efforts that led to the passage of the Rivers Protection Act, which established a protected zone of 200 feet along the 9,000 mile-length of the Massachusetts River. This would make the area safe for swimming and fishing. The ELM has also won a passage in the Open Space Bond Act which provided funding for the maintenance of parks, forests, trails and beaches throughout the state. Funds were also available to purchase land for additional green spaces. ELM has also worked in restoring the maintenance budgets for state parks that have previously suffered cuts.
Part of ELM’s efforts includes lobbying for legislation that would reduce or replace the use of toxic chemicals with safer alternatives. The ELM has made headway in this regard by supporting the passage of the Phosphorous Bill into law. The bill includes the reduction of phosphorous in household dishwashing detergents that will protect the water ecosystems by reducing algae overgrowth.
Organizations and individuals who recognize the efforts of the ELM in protecting the environment are supporting the Earth Night to further the work of the ELM, and make it truly Earth’s night.
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