April 22 is coming up; mark your calendar, everyone, it’s Earth Day.
It is a day to celebrate the Earth, thanking the planet for our existence, for its beauty and because it is literally grounding us, always there to support our every step.
Turn on the news and it can seem like the world is falling apart, things seem hopeless, frustrating, overwhelming. When the negative vibes creep up on me, I open my door and walk outside onto solid ground, into my yard. It’s not perfect, it’s actually a bit of a mess, but I close my eyes and take that first deep breath of outside air and it is so refreshing. I am a little more grounded, and it is thanks to Mother Earth.
To thank her, I will plant a native shrub on Earth Day. Below is a photo of a male ruby-crowned kinglet bird we just saw flying through the yard. It is one of our smallest songbirds weighing only a fifth of an ounce that flicks its wings excitedly as it flies from branch to branch. So, I want to plant something that will continue to support this bird. The kinglet eats mostly small insects but will also eat berries and seeds in winter. I’ve therefore decided that I am going to plant a native red-twig dogwood (Cornus sericea). The red-twig dogwood supports over 100 different species of butterflies and moths, has berries for birds in the winter, feeds pollinators with its white blooms May through June, and has incredibly striking red stems all year long.
Is there a bird or butterfly or even a cool moth that you would like to plant for this Earth Day? It’s a win-win in that you are doing something good for the Earth by planting native and restoring a little bit of habitat, while getting to enjoy the local wildlife visitors that fly through your yard.
Other than planting something native, there are all kinds of activities happening to celebrate Earth Day this year. The Westchester Parks Foundation has several Pitch in for Parks events happening all throughout the earth month of April. Green Ossining’s 12th Annual Earth Day Festival is April 23 from 10-5. Check out the River Journal events page for other Earth Day events nearby.
So, in honor of this earth month of April, when we celebrate the planet – volunteer, support a local Earth Day festival, plant native, or just step outside to say thank you to Mother Earth. Please enjoy this Earth Anthem, written by the Indian poet, Abhay Kumar:
“Our cosmic oasis, cosmic blue pearl
the most beautiful planet in the universe
all the continents and all the oceans
united we stand as flora and fauna
united we stand as species of one earth
diverse cultures, beliefs and ways
we are humans, Earth is our home
all the people and all the nations
all for one, one for all
united we unfurl the blue marble flag.”
Amanda Bayley is the CEO & Co-Founder of Plan it Wild, a sustainable land management company that is bringing back native habitats to Westchester yards.
More Nature. Now. www.PLANitWILD.com