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Earth Day

April 22, 2009

Earth Day Logo

On the 39th anniversary of Earth Day, we would like to feature several collections which, although they do not focus primarily on environmental issues, do contain records of local and statewide efforts to make San Antonio and Texas a little greener.

Green pledge sheet for San Antonio Earth Day 1990 event.

The Man and Beast, Inc. papers highlight the organization’s involvement in the San Antonio Earth Day events that occurred at San Pedro Park in 1990 and 1991. Man and Beast, Inc. is a nonprofit organization established to address animal welfare issues in San Antonio. The organization focuses on two basic issues–overpopulation and ignorance–and tries to solve these problems through a variety of ways.
The Recycle Our Trash (ROT) program, created by the Citizens For a Better Environment to “reclaim discarded materials that can be recycled,” is documented in the Albert A. Peña, Jr. papers. Judge Peña was a longtime activist who was been involved in a wide range of liberal social causes, particularly in defending and advancing the rights of Mexican-Americans.

Recycle Our Trash (ROT) program questionnaire

“One slice of toast wastes energy–toast 2 at a time.”

You’ll find photographs promoting energy conservation in the Gil Barrera Photographs of the University of Texas at San Antonio. The photographs were taken for a story about ways to save energy, such as toasting two slices of bread at the same time. Gil Barrera was a freelance photographer for the University of Texas at San Antonio, Southwestern Bell and Southwest Research, and a photojournalist for the San Antonio Light newspaper.
Found in the Cyndi Taylor Krier papers are records on the preservation of the San Antonio River, the Edwards Aquifer, and other environmental programs that Krier supported. These included the Adopt-A-River program, Clean Water Action, and House Bill 1581. Krier was a local conservative politician and represented Bexar County in the Texas Senate. She was the first woman and first Republican judge in Bexar County; her priorities included the building of a new county jail, child abuse, family violence, and child support.

Clean Texas 2000 newsletter

“Conservation of Texas Forests” research paper.

Found within the Sebron Sneed Wilcox papers are research papers on the importance of conserving Texas forests and water. Wilcox played a key role in preserving the Spanish Archives of Laredo and made sure the papers were translated correctly. He was one of the founders of the Laredo Historical Society, a member of the Texas Historical Commission for Webb County, and a Texas historian.
Finally, the Bill and Fay Sinkin papers highlight the preservation of the Edwards Aquifer and Solar San Antonio.There is a large amount of material in the collection about Fay’s work toward preserving the Edwards Aquifer and other water issues affecting the region such as gas leaks, legislation, and how water issues were covered by the media. Also found in the collection are files on toxic pollution and hazardous materials, xeriscaping, and water modification. Found in latter additions are files from Bill Sinkin’s involvement with Solar San Antonio. The majority of this material is clippings, but researchers can also find material on the organization and ways Bill has promoted it.Bill and Fay Sinkin are both known for their longstanding commitment to civic issues. Fay Sinkin organized and headed the Aquifer Protection Association. Fay was the first woman to serve a six-year term as a board of director on the Edwards Underground Water District, where she fought to protect the Edwards Aquifer from development. Fay later formed the Edwards Aquifer Preservation Trust where she worked to purchase land on the recharge zone to protect it from over-development and environmental damage.

Bill Sinkin’s Certificate of Membership to Solar San Antonio.

This Week in D.C. with Henry B newsletter, 1977 (with “Water for S.A.” article)

By Tatina Wulzer, Collections Assistant

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