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Earth Day 2016

Liz Clift, MFA

On Earth Day, a year ago, I was working with youth in an afterschool program located in Northeast Denver. My co-workers and I asked youth what they’d learned about Earth Day in school or at home, and then asked them how they’d like to help the planet.

The youth voted to pick up trash in the playground and around the school where the program is housed. If every youth picked up just 10 pieces of trash (and some picked up more), that means the youth picked up 750 pieces of litter. As one of my 5th grade youth calculated (without his phone or a calculator, I might add), if they all did that every day for a year, they would place 273,750 pieces of trash in either the trash can or recycling bin.

That is a lot of trash!

Of course, there are many ways to celebrate Earth Day, and there are events in communities around the world. Great Ecology is thrilled to have helped facilitate one of those events, through our Florham Park Pollinator Habitat & Landscape Enhancements project in New York. Volunteers turned out to the facility to help plant the pollinator garden, which will provide habitat for a number of pollinator species, including the rare Long Dash butterfly.

Charles Howe, one of our landscape architects in New York, was on site for the event. Highlights of the day included:

  • Volunteers shoveled and moved 8 tons of dirt and mulch
  • Volunteers planted many varieties of flowering plants, including purple coneflower, phlox, and blue salvia
  • A community organization joined with BASF volunteers to get the pollinator garden planted

How else did Great Ecology celebrate?

One of our ecologists, Emily Callahan, celebrated the day by being honored at the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards for her work converting decommissioned oil rigs to artificial reefs.

Employees in our California office took some time to clean up a local highway and employees in our Denver office made a point of biking to work today (okay, to be fair, our Denver employees regularly do this anyway).

I spent some time in my garden before and after work pulling weeds and readying the bed for starts to go in the ground in a few weeks. Last year, in fact, I also spent some of Earth Day in a garden – only it was with the youth at the afterschool program, and in the garden at their site, where we were likely weeding and building the frame for a vertical garden.

We’d love to hear what you did to celebrate Earth Day!

 

 

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