This April marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, founded by Wisconsin native Gaylord Nelson, a former governor and U.S. senator. held a virtual lunchtime event on Tuesday, April 21 entitled “Earth Day: the Next 50 Years.”

Headlining the hour-long discussion was Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, chair of the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change, and state Rep. Mike Kuglitsch, R-New Berlin, chair of the Assembly Committee on Energy and Utilities, and a member of the task force.

After a half-hour of questions from and audience members, four experts joined in for the second half-hour, offering their perspectives on environmental, conservation, transportation and business trends over the next 50 years:

–Elizabeth Koehler, Wisconsin State Director, The Nature Conservancy

–Steve Nieland, Director of Energy Solutions, Faith Technologies

–Jane McCurry, Electric Vehicles Program Manager, RENEW Wisconsin

–And John Imes, Executive Director, Wisconsin Environmental Initiative

THIS EVENT WAS SPONSORED by Xcel Energy, AARP WI, Wisconsin Hospital Association, Husch Blackwell, American Family Insurance and Walmart, sponsors of the Madison Club event series, plus special event sponsors The Boldt Company, Outrider Foundation and Wisconsin Environmental Initiative.

See the links below for more on Earth Day:

– An introduction to Earth Day and Gaylord Nelson from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Wisconsin Historical Society:

– A film from the Outrider Foundation: “When the Earth Moves

– A interview with Tia Nelson, managing director of climate at the Outrider Foundation:

– A recent profile of Tia Nelson in the Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine:

– A chapter from “The Man from Clear Lake,” a biography of Gaylord Nelson by Bill Christofferson:

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