Give a Hoot for History

Here in Special Collections, we Give a Hoot for History!

Saturday, April 22, 2023, is Earth Day. In observance of the event here are some photographs and clippings representing our commitment to preserving Davenport’s history of caring for Mother Earth.

Special Collections serves as the Archives for the City of Davenport. In the 1980s the city began a public-private coordinated effort to reduce litter called Operation Clean Davenport.

Times-Democrat July 25, 1980
Times-Democrat July 25, 1980

The program was an integral part of reducing litter by 70% by 1992 according to an article in the QCT from February 17, 1992. Lack of funding brought the program to a close at about that same time, but here are some images showing Davenport’s citizens in action.

Davenport Public Library got involved as well, inviting Woodsy the Owl to read with some of our younger patrons.

Accession #2004-29 Operation Clean Davenport
Accession #2004-29 Operation Clean Davenport

Remember Woodsy’s catchphrase??

Speaking of birds, we are pleased to have the collection of Dr. Herbert J. Hodges, an amateur naturalist and professor at Saint Ambrose University. He challenged a group of students on the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, to join him at Credit Island for a chance to “see a natural ecological setting at work”.

One wonders if the fifteen students who walked the Island that day took his words to heart? Hodges maintained his love of nature and Credit Island until his death in 2009. We proudly preserve his papers in Accession 2014-03 containing over 1000 color photographic slides, research, records, observations, statistics, and correspondence regarding the local bird population in the Scott County, Iowa, and Rock Island County, Illinois greater Tri/Quad City area.

  • Accession 2014-03 Dr. Herbert J. Hodges Papers
  • Accession 2014-03 Dr. Herbert J. Hodges Papers
  • Accession 2014-03 Dr. Herbert J. Hodges Papers

Over the years, many projects have been undertaken for Earth Day. On the very first Earth Day, some Davenport students chose to create a work of art from their clean-up project as shown in this newspaper clipping.

Times-Democrat April 22, 1970

We leave you with this catchy illustration from another item from the City Archives created by Philip Tunnicliff for the Parks department in 1941.

“Therapeutic Chart for Street Trees,” by Philip Hunter Tunnicliff.

We anticipate you will find a way to “Toot Your Hooter” while cleaning up your community, planting a tree, raising awareness, visiting a wildlife sanctuary, or creating a work of art as you observe Earth Day 2023.

(posted by Karen)

This entry was posted in Local History. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *