By Mary Reid Barrow
Earth Day is Thursday.
“Restore Our Earth” is the theme this year.
So, what are you going to do to celebrate? Better yet, what do you do all year long to celebrate the Earth?
Most of you already are Earth champions and I bet you celebrate Earth Day every day the Lynnhaven River NOW way!
This year’s Earth Day theme, “Restore Our Earth,” has been LRNow’s guiding light since we began in 2002. We help restore oyster reefs, wetlands and marsh islands. We plant trees, build native plant gardens and shoreline buffers and we host many waterway cleanups every year, to name just some of the ways we work to restore the Earth.
Restoring the Earth sounds like a tall order for an individual, but it’s not. You might say charity to the Earth begins at home. One of the best things a Virginia Beach resident can do to help with sea level rise and global warming is to plant more trees and to preserve the trees you have.
Trees absorb water from the ground, remove carbon dioxide from the air and return oxygen to the Earth. Trees provide homes and food for wildlife and they cool the Earth with their shade.
So on Thursday, you could plant a tree or a give a tree you have a little love. You could even make long range plans to volunteer to help LRNow with its next tree planting at Ocean Lakes in the fall.
For now, you also could give a little corner of your yard back to the Earth. You could pull up some invasive ivy or periwinkle, or some of that non-native lawn grass and create a small flower bed of native flowers.
We’ll help you get started with some free Coreopsis seeds. Send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to: Lynnhaven River NOW Seeds, 3663 Marlin Bay Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23455. These pretty yellow flowers will remind you of Earth Day all summer.
How about ordering a rain barrel to catch the rain water from your roof? Then, you can return that water to the Earth instead of letting it flow into a storm drain.
If you live in the Lynnhaven River Watershed, you may be eligible to participate in our Pearl Home Sustainable Yard Program and get a rain barrel or other water friendly improvements at a reduced price. Check https://www.lynnhavenrivernow.org/sustainable-yards-program/
On Earth Day, you could pay a real visit to Mother Nature. Walk around your yard or in a park. Look up close at the insects and find a new pollinator. Look for a plant or animal you’ve never seen before. Read up on them when you get home.
Keep an eye out for LRNow’s Nature Journaling events which will help you see the Earth in a different way. Learn something new outside and you will love the Earth even more for it.
And day in and day out, volunteer to help restore the Earth with us! https://www.lynnhavenrivernow.org/volunteers/
Do you have a favorite tree or plant with a story to tell? What relationships have you observed between plants and critters? Who eats whom? Who has babies where? Send an email to email@example.com