April 20, 2020 – Nature Connections

Earth Day 2020

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. This movement began on April 22, 1970 when 20 million Americans took a stand for an environment in crisis and demanded change. The result of this collective action was the passage of landmark environmental laws in the United States including The Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts, as well as the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Today Earth Day is honored around the world and this year will be no different. While our Earth Day celebrations and actions may look different due to the need for social distance we will still pay homage to our beloved planet Earth, the only home we have. We hope you will join us!

This Earth Day we encourage you to think about why you value nature and take notice of the natural world around you. Make a commitment to connect to the natural world outside your doors and windows. Pay attention to what you notice; look and listen for birds, notice the direction of the wind, the rising and setting of the sun and moon, the plants (trees, grasses, flowers, even humble mosses) growing nearby, the movements of insects and other animals. Many of us have lost touch with just how much nature moves around us everyday no matter where we live. We fail to notice the first, subtle signs of seasons’ change in our valley: the return of the Turkey Vultures in early March, the croak of the tree frogs in late February, which plants are the first to flower in the spring and to lose their leaves in the fall. We challenge you to take notice. Pay attention and appreciate these gifts. What do you notice when you stop and pay attention?

Earth Day Message written in chalk

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day we ask you to take note of the nature around you and share it in one or more of the following ways:

  • Take walks around your neighborhood:
    • A listening walk: walk silently and listen to the sounds. Softly close your eyes and cup your hands behind your ears.
    • A color walk: color scraps of paper with crayons or markers, take them with you on a walk and find things that match. How closely can you make the match? How wild of a color can you find?
    • Find and print a scavenger hunt or make your own. Here are two from the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership:
  • Take pictures of what you notice and share it with friends, family, and us.
  • Make an entry in your nature journal.
  • Create some land art in a place where others will see it and share images of what you made.
  • Write a message of love for Earth or a pledge to how you care for our planet. Post it in your window for others to see and send us a picture.
  • Send us a short video message (~1 minute) of what you love about nature. If we get enough and with your permission we will string them together to make a longer video to share with others.
  • Use some sidewalk chalk and write your message in your driveway or sidewalk. Share a picture of it.
  • Create some Nature Crafts, the following website have some great ideas:

Check out what others are doing in honor of Earth Day:

  • The Earth Day Network is sharing ways you can take action, speak up and stay engaged.
  • Earth Day Oregon has launched a campaign encouraging people to post signs with their pledge to take action to support a healthy environment.

What other actions can you take to support a healthy planet?

If you use social media to share your photos and videos, please use #EarthDay2020 to participate in the world community discussion. To easily share it as a local community with us, please use #outdooredadventures. It’ll be fun to see how our community works together to build.

We end each of our Nature Connections entries with some words of gratitude. This activity can also be a great entry in your journals.

We are grateful for:
The insects pollinating our fruit and vegetable plants.
The water that sustains all living things.
The Earth for sustaining life.
For all of you who allow us to share our love of nature with you and your children.