Celebrate Earth Day, April 22 – Create a Backyard Wildlife Habitat
I normally post information relating to business best practices and technology but I have to take a moment to share a personal concern with my readers. We are all caretakers of our world, and in many ways, we aren’t doing a very good job. We all bear identical responsibility to treat it with respect. Each of us, regardless of economic status, age, gender or any other factor, has an equal stake in protecting it. Earth Day is in its 40th year, and still going strong, thanks to an ever-increasing awareness by us earth-dwellers of the importance of taking care of our planet’s resources. Earth Day is a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s environment.
Earth Day Founder Gaylord Nelson passed away July 2005 at the age of 89. He believed strongly that education is the key to changing people’s attitudes about the environment and he devoted much of his energy to that challenge. Earth Day is a day to celebrate the environment. The first Earth Day was organized in 1970 to promote the ideas of ecology, encourage respect for life on earth, and highlight growing concern over pollution of the soil, air, and water. Earth Day is now observed in 140 nations with outdoor performances, exhibits and street fairs that focus on the earth and environmental issues.
There are many ways to observe Earth Day, such as making some changes in how you do things, buy things, or operate things. Many communities are sponsoring Earth Day activities. Even if there is not a planned activity, a visit to a favorite outdoor spot might be a good way to celebrate our earth. The National Wildlife Federation has a site called “Nature Find – Get Outdoors Wherever you are” You enter your location and a map shows nature events and activities, go to: www.nwf.org/naturefind
“Mother earth is created for us to experience heaven while still living…it is our responsibility to make it happen”
Beautiful EARTH – what a marvelous thing
What a wonderful joy it is to see,
the beauty of nature and its majesty.
Everything blends, entwines and embraces,
Spaced precisely in their designated places.
What a marvel to see, I wish I were a bee,
Flying free, smelling life’s roses, no particular place to be.
How can it be, such a marvel to see
when it’s possessed by such as you and me?
Ours to have, cherish, and protect,
not to pollute, take for granted, nor neglect.
Enjoy the earth, treat it kind
After all it is ours, yes… yours and mine.
Kathye D. Perry
I choose to celebrate Earth Day and EVERY day by creating and caring for a backyard habitat. About 25 years ago, I was one of the first residents in Florida to be certified by the National Wildlife Federations backyard habitat program, by providing food, water, cover and a place for wildlife to raise their young, and by incorporating sustainable gardening practices. A Backyard Habitat is the manipulation of your yard into a garden that provides essential resources for different kinds of wildlife, such as birds, butterflies, small mammals and other creatures.
It is now in the power of individual gardeners to do something that we all dream of doing: to ‘make a difference.’ In this case, the ‘difference’ will be to the future of biodiversity, to the native plants and animals of North America and the ecosystems that sustain them. You can also join me and the thousands of wildlife and garden enthusiasts across the country that have been recognized for creating havens for neighborhood wildlife in their very own yards. All you need to do is provide elements from each of the following areas:
- Food Sources – Native plants, seeds, fruits, nuts, berries, nectar
- Water Sources – Birdbath, pond, water garden, stream
- Places for Cover – Thicket, rock pile, birdhouse
- Places to Raise Young – Dense shrubs, vegetation, nesting box, pond
- Sustainable Gardening – Mulch, compost, rain garden, chemical-free fertilizer
Creating and maintaining a backyard habitat has an important effect on the health of the soil, air, water and habitat for native wildlife, as well as the human community nearby. Reducing chemical use, composting, mulching and reducing turf grass in your yard are important steps to creating a backyard wildlife habitat and to show appreciation for the earth’s resources.
Natural wildlife habitats are disappearing quickly. Creating a Backyard Habitat is the perfect way for you and your family to help conserve wildlife while being able to enjoy observing it every day in your own backyard. something as simple as planting a few host plants for butterflies or as elaborate as creating a place that provides food, water, summer shade, winter refuge, perches, nesting sites, and hiding places for all kinds of wildlife.
The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) sponsors a certification program designed to help individuals plan and apply a wildlife habitat plan for a home site or small acreage. On request, NWF will send you an application package and instructions for its Backyard Wildlife Habitat Program. If your application and plan meet the criteria, you will receive a certificate and, if you wish, a sign to show your commitment to wildlife conservation.
Backyard Wildlife Habitat Program
National Wildlife Federation
8925 Leesburg Pike
Vienna, VA 22184-0001
Wildlife’s ability to survive is becoming outpaced by the events that are transforming our world. The loss of habitat and people becoming more disconnected from nature than past generations are converging on a dangerous path for our planet. I have found that enjoying nature brings me in touch with my roots as a human being and helps me to connect better with other living beings and people, without any barriers. Join me in celebrating the beauty of our earth on Earth Day and every day!
Jamie Wood, Avatel EVP and Nature Lover
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