It isn’t a huge deal at our house, but we do wish each other “Happy Earth Day” each year. My husband inadvertently attended the second Earth Day in Washington DC many years ago; he was going to a Navy school nearby, went into town for the weekend, and saw thousands of people gathered from the west steps of the capital to the Washington monument. A guy stood with a big flag at the reflecting pool, the American red and white stripes turned white and green and a big peace symbol where the stars would be. People were throwing frisbees, having picnics, listening to the speakers. Now, Earth Day is a cool way to remind ourselves of the importance of conservation and taking care of our planet.
One way to do that is through the Authors for Earth Day program (http://www.authorsforearthday.org). As the website puts it, “Authors for Earth Day (A4ED) is a grassroots coalition of award-winning children’s authors and illustrators who directly mentor young readers by giving them ‘an authentic research project with real-world impact.’
NOW A YEAR-ROUND PROGRAM. Each participant does one school visit a year with a unique twist: the author donates at least 30% of that day’s speaking fee to a non-profit conservation organization as directed by a student vote. Students research a list of five conservations nominees selected by their author and then vote for their favorite—the author writes a check to the winning organization. Our mission? To empower young readers to shape the world around them!” Isn’t that cool? I don’t have an author gig on Earth Day this year, but I am one of their authors. Drop me a line if you’re interested in having me speak at your school, and we’ll talk! 😉
I was interested in the A4ED program because my last Gold Rush novel, Gold Nuggets, is about the creation of Mt. McKinley (now Denali) National Park. Thanks to Charles Sheldon and other early conservationists who wanted to save Denali’s wild Dall sheep from extermination, we have a national park and preserve, and this beautiful part of nature will always be there to see and enjoy. It’s definitely something to celebrate.
And since it’s also Shakespeare’s 400th birthday on April 23rd this year, I’ll throw in a quote from Troilus and Cressida: “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”