Friday, April 22, 2016

Storyteller's Journey

Kneeling next to one of my favorite trees in the Olympic National Forest.
Happy Earth Day!

In the Pacific Northwest we take Earth Day very seriously. In addition to the vast and beautiful environment all around us, the coordinator of Earth Day - Denis Hayes - grew up along the Columbia River in Camas, Washington. He graduated from Clark College in Vancouver, WA (my alma mater) and then went on to attend Stanford University, and ultimately graduated from Harvard.

While I am a nature buff myself, today it's also important to ponder what each of us can do to promote the protection of our environment. As writers, we can contribute to the cause in numerous ways:

1- Include the importance of our natural environment in the books we write for children.

2- For traditionally published authors, Authors for Earth Day is a wonderful coalition that contributes a portion of their authors' school visits to a non-profit conservation organization.

3- Be a good steward of the natural resources in your own local area. Volunteer with a conservation organization in your town or region.

4- Make a donation to a conservation organization that you feel particularly drawn to - I'm a supporter of Polar Bears International as well as the National Park Service, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. However, there are numerous organizations to check out.

5- Obviously we're in a presidential election year. If you have the time, expertise, and motivation to volunteer for your favorite candidate, by all means do so. (Hopefully he or she is a strong advocate for conserving our natural resources!)

Whatever you decide to do this Earth Day, know that your contribution will make a positive impact not only on your life, but the lives of others!

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
Rachel Carson, Silent Spring    

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