Some might say we don’t have the time or energy to celebrate Earth Day this year. But I say this is a great time to do it. It will be a fun distraction from our COVID-19 isolation, and can bring to our homes some bright spots during dark days, with delightful pieces of greenery and blossoms!
I have set up a page on Facebook called “Earth Day 2020 Lyons Colorado.” The focus will be on everyone planting something on Earth Day or in the month of April, and watching its progress. I will be posting to it photos of things I have planted and gardening tips, at least for the month of April. I am inviting Lyons area residents to join in and plant something.
Some plants can be started with only water in a container filled with pebbles, like beautiful, fragrant, Paperwhite Narcissus bulbs. You can order gardening supplies online, or just grab a pot with old soil in it from your backyard to put seeds in. You can also cut some branches of flowering perennials and bushes in your yard that have buds on them, bring them indoors, and “force” them to bloom. Some plant seedlings can be started with things already inside your home, such as taking cuttings from trailing plants, or from kitchen vegetable cuttings.
You could paint a pot, vase, or even a cottage cheese container marking it Earth Day 2020! Glue some stickers or ribbons on it, or wrap an anti-virus face mask around it. Mix coffee grounds with some potting soil in an egg carton and plant some veggie seeds. Teach your kids how to make a feathery green plant out of a carrot top in water. Do you remember the avocado seed balanced above a bowl of water with toothpicks? Email your photos to LovingLyonsSeniorGroup@gmail.com, and we will post some of the most fun images to the Lyons Recorder photo page.
Locally, in early April, Laura West Neal offered to dozens of members of the Lyons Happenings Facebook page a tiny Ponderosa pine for their home, callling it a QuaranPine. Stillwater Healing Arts Clinic & Apothecary had to cancel their all-day celebration in the park. They made April Earth Month and encouraged people to “join networks and alliances that protect our right to clean air, water, and public land, and moving away from massive species extinction.” Wide Spaces Community Initiative Group and sponsor Lyons Regional Library put their Earth Day program online as part of their Third Thursdays Community Dinner & Arts Program. Environmental film clips were shown and a discussion followed, allowing participants to suggest ways to find meaning in their relationship with the planet and its future.
Rocky Mountain National Park will not be having its annual Earth Day program and free day, and no gatherings will be happening at Planet Bluegrass’ Wildflower Pavilion. But you can take a private walk in the Botanic Garden or the Labyrinth, located off of Highway 7, just south of Lyons Town Hall. Or, you can simply go outside your house and hug your trees!
Earth Day was founded in 1970 as a day of education about environmental issues. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin was an environmentalist who hoped the day would bring together the grassroots groups who promoted the environmental movement and increase ecological awareness. He was later given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Clinton. As proof of its success, when Earth Day reached its 20-year anniversary, in 1990, more than 200 million people in 141 countries participated in Earth Day celebrations. Different groups and countries celebrate it on different days, but it usually occurs in spring.
One of the best things to come out of this nationwide awareness action was in July of 1970 when the Environmental Protection Agency was formed by special executive order to regulate and enforce national pollution legislation. Earth Day also led to the passage of the Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.