Earth Day 2016

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Earth day: more than just a single day. Currently, I live on Earth. And until that changes, I guess it’s okay if more than just one day a year is “Earth day.” So, even though it’s not for a couple days, we could discuss earth day together, today!

Trees for the Earth

Tree Blooming on Earth DayThe primary focus from The Earth Day Network this year, and specifically for the next five years, is planting trees that are native to your area. This year’s theme is, after all, “Trees for the Earth.” One way you can become involved in this is simply by planting a native tree in your yard. If each person did this…think about the Co2 reduction! However, since not every single person is going to plant one native tree, there are other ways you can become involved in this idea. The National Wildlife Federation allows you to host events in which they will send you free tree seedlings. This is a great project for children’s environmental groups, schools, community events, or any group you can think of. It takes 60 days for the NWF to accept and supply  your free seedlings to your group, so this isn’t just a just an Earth-Day-and-Forget-It type of situation.  Once the trees are planted, this can be an ongoing project to ensure that these trees live healthy lives.

It’s easy to forget how important trees are–Trees are so much more than just an oxygen supplier, too. Trees help reduce water runoff from storms, which helps decrease soil erosion as well as decreasing the accumulation of sediment in streams and river. During a storm, a tree’s root system acts as both a sponge and a filter, filtering out pollutants from the water system that would otherwise run directly into a stream. They also help out by increasing the recharge rate of ground water. As you know, trees offer shade–which offers lawns a better chance at staying healthy without as much water.

To me, supporting earth day is about enjoying nature. When hiking, backpacking, or camping, always remember to haul out everything you haul in! Volunteers are needed year-round for fixing trails, keeping national parks clean, and restoring bird habitats. The Audubon website has a plethora of information on how you can get involved with bird conservation. Just 2 years ago, the Bermuda saw-whet owl was listed as extinct, primarily due to the decline of cedar and palmetto trees. Like the canary in the coal mine, birds are one of the first creatures to be affected by change. The Audubon Society does not simply try to rehabilitate the actual birds, but the environment in which the birds survive including waterways and marshlands, which long-term helps us all.

Volunteer Opportunities

If you’re looking for an event to participate in this earth day, check out this link to see what volunteer opportunities are available in your neck of the woods. Consider celebrating Earth Day every day…I know I will today, with a picnic in the park.

 

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