Monday, April 26, 2010

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers 04/26/2010

Last Thursday was Earth Day. I always try to celebrate it in some significant way. April 22, 1970 was the first time. I was teaching 7th-9th grade in Austin, Texas. My classes decided to raise money to plant trees on our school grounds. It was a new school and a little barren so this was a very appropriate choice. We bought trees (I don’t even remember what kind they were) that were supposed to provide shade and also to be absent any berries or fruit that could be potential projectiles. Administrations always have strange things to worry about. We borrowed tools, dug holes and planted the trees and everyone felt so proud. I wonder how much shade those trees are providing after thirty years of growth, and I wonder if those students have continued to celebrate Earth Day like I have.

At Liberty Wildlife Earth Day is traditionally a very, very busy day and this year was no exception. Dawnya Schuyler and Doug McCarter traveled with educational ambassadors to Superior to participate in the Arizona Trails Association Earth Day Event while Joanne Mayer provided her normal fabulous program for classes at the Osborn School District.

Adams Traditional School was participating with author, Barbara Gowan, in the Authors for Earth Day event which takes place in schools across the US. Ms. Gowan provided literacy and environmental programming for the students. She feels awareness is the beginning of positive and meaningful behavior change. Liberty Wildlife provided educational ambassadors to enrich her premise. She donated her fee back to Liberty Wildlife, and the students were charged with voting on which animal would receive the funding. Her philosophy is that the students would then have a voice at an early age in the conservation process. The vote went to the Golden Eagle. The event was a huge success. This is another wonderful way to celebrate Earth Day. Thanks to Max Besseler for standing in for me.

Also, Liberty Wildlife volunteers and staff, Peggy Cole, Terry Stevens, Joe and Jan Miller traveled to Clarkdale, AZ to participate in the Earth Day celebration at the Verde Canyon Railroad. The train winds its way through wonderful habitat that among other things provides homes for nesting Bald Eagles. It was thrilling for the riders to get a close up view of the proud birds they would see perching in trees along the way. A naturalist aboard the train points out various other animals thrilling the eager audience. Several buses of school children also came to see the wildlife in town and everyone was in awe. Can you blame them? The Railroad is committed to supporting the wildlife that provides such enrichment for their customers…truly a positive Earth Day celebration.

While all of these wonderful staff and volunteers were working I took the day off (shameful, huh?) and with two like minded Liberty Wildlife friends hiked into Aravaipa Canyon for a private celebration of Earth Day. I will share this experience with you next week….take that as a warning to our readers….It was a perfect way for us to commune with nature on Earth Day!

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