Capturing Rain From One of Our Sheds

Capturing Rain From One of Our Sheds
These copper rain gutters are beautiful and help harvest rainwater!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth Day holds a special place in my heart...

as it truly is a time to celebrate our earth and all she gives us! Each year on April 22 we get to celebrate through events that are held worldwide demonstrating support for environmental protection.
Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970, dating back to 1969 when peace activist John McConnell proposed a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace. This was followed a  month later by a separate Earth Day that was founded by Gaylord Nelson, a United States Senator, as an environmental teaching event first held on April 22, 1970. Nelson was later awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award in recognition of his work. Earth Day went international in 1990 and organized events in 141 nations. Currently events are held in more than 192 countries worldwide. Numerous communities celebrate Earth Week, an entire week of activities focused on environmental issues.

My personal belief is that we all need to honor, care for and connect with our Earth. It seems that there is a movement to make this a priority with several children's grassroots organizations sprouting up (pun intended) such as the Outside Now School that we recently donated a reclaimed wood potting table to. Their story is that a little village of families wanted to create a different way of educating their children, a way that immersed them in the natural world as a source of learning, in a way that a child's natural curiosity is extended with questions that guide them, a place where people of all ages pass forward their stories and talents.

Another children's organization that has a similar philosophy is Wellspring Children's Center where they have a garden and farm for their pre-school children that features a full garden with live chickens and rabbits, a painting studio, a Dress-up room, and group and individual reading nooks. The students have freedom to explore, question, and discover at their own pace, under the guidance of qualified, experienced teachers. Christian teaching, nutritious, mostly organic meals, and family-centered activities help foster healthy children with strong family bonds and values. “I believe every child is born with a Divine spark. Our job is to provide the environment for that spark to become a full blown fire. We consider it a privilege to partner with parents as they seek the very best for their children, and equip them to face life’s challenges.”– Susan Crook Wellspring Director.

The children getting the benefit of participating in the growing of the organic foods that they harvest and subsequently eat is powerful in many ways. I recently took a tour of their gardens and was delighted to see hay bale gardens, something I had not seen before. The garden/farm is a magical place for children to grow and learn. After watching my children grow up while attending much more structured public schools, it makes me wish that this movement had been happening then. While we have always had a garden at home while our children were growing up, it would have been a wonderful reinforcement to have had a garden/farm program for them to learn and grow in!

Enough looking back, looking forward at this next generation of young children that are learning to care for our Earth that will then grow into adult stewards of our precious Earth, now that makes my heart happy!

Happy Earth Day from me to you.....

Dana O'Brien
Owner, A Place to Grow