According to www.earthday.org, the first Earth Day was in 1970 and "more than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world."
April Stevens, a social studies teacher at CMS who also organizes the student council, said this was the first year for the school to commemorate the annual movement.
"They sold Earth Day T-shirts as a fundraiser to purchase the tree and to purchase the flower pots and things they're going to use every year," Stevens said.
Susan Cook teaches Earth Science at CMS and said Friday's activities tied in with her curriculum.
"When we're studying conservation, I really push the kids to understand that it's their world. It's their planet and they have to take care of it for themselves and their kids," Cook said. "We talk about recycling all the time, and with Earth Day coming up, I said, 'What a perfect time to do this.'"
She said it was the students themselves who did most of the organizing and would do most of the work around the school, but the idea for the cleanup came from an unlikely source.
"What started the Earth Day theme," Cook said, "was we got a postcard for these cute shirts, and I asked Ms. Stevens if we could come to a [student council] meeting and present it to the student council. They thought it was a great idea and took the ball and ran with it as a fundraiser."
Colin Shea is the treasurer of the CMS student council. He said the Earth Day activities were a way for himself and other students to help improve their school.
"We were talking to Mr. Hogan about making the school look better and nicer, and we were just trying to think of different ways to make it look better on the inside and look better on the outside," Shea said. "We couldn't just go buy a tree without any money to do it, so we decided to sell T-shirts for Earth Day."