What have I done to celebrate the earth, I ask myself?
Mostly, it’s involved informing others of the precious resources the earth provides.
In the past, for celebrations of Earth Day I’ve presented to whole schools on topics such as the forest and monarch conservation. I’ve presented on the prairie as an ecosystem, and helped an elementary school in our district become part of the Wisconsin Green School Network by planting monarch habitat with milkweed seeds in a drainage ditch.
In the distant past, I converted an old perennial bed at a school to a certified monarch way station and maintained it for 14 years with the help of students every year during that time.
I presented to a whole school on plant life cycles, while they were in their international school garden with me in grade level shifts, planting annuals and observing the perennials emerge from the ground. Over five hundred and fifty students planted with me that year!
Earth day involved participation at a hiking challenge promotion for the local land trust at which I was briefly employed. This was not my most important nor my most memorable earth day celebration but one that was expected of me at the time. Fortunately, it did promote an appreciation of our local lands. We do live in a varied and beautiful area of the country on the edge of the largest rivers with the longest histories in our country.
Every day, or nearly every day, I photograph the changes in my yard and surroundings. I am still as much in awe of everyday plants such as trees and flower bulbs, as I am in awe of rare ones like the Indian Pipe I saw last fall or the Torrey Pine I saw in 2012 or the Pasque flower or Prairie Smoke that grows on our local (rare) sand prairie.
What today holds is not a presentation at a school or a hike on a conserved piece of land but my second COVID vaccine. The receipt of this vaccine will allow me to continue to appreciate the earth and all she offers. But, more importantly, it will allow our communities to gather again – so we can hold more earth day celebrations in person in the future.
And, whether that be on a forest hike, establishing more monarch and pollinator habitat or wandering the prairie looking for those rare blooms, I’ll be there!
Happy Earth Day to Everyone, Everywhere!
Please note that all photos on this page are taken and copyrighted by Carol Labuzzetta. No permission exists to copy or reproduce in any form. Thank you!