Posts Tagged ‘Earth Day’

What does geocaching, Earth Day (April 22), and birthdays have in common?  Me!  When Earth Day founder, Gaylord Nelson, organized the first ‘Earth Day 1970′ activities, I was five years old.  Those events brought together people of all walks of life, and political affiliations, and thankfully, led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and the Endangered Species Acts.  Just think of what our Earth would be like if Senator Nelson had not taken the gamble that he did!  Thank you Senator Nelson!!

Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved being outside.  Growing up in a small town in Michigan, my summers were spent either at a small local lake playing with my friends and brothers, or working in my parents’  HUGE garden.  (At least to me it was huge.)  My mother canned everything that came out of that garden.  I remember always have fresh vegetables every day and also enjoying them in the winter, thanks to my mother’s hard work.  As I got older, the urge to grow things came to me rather naturally.  I always had a flower garden, and my mother often scolded me for coming into the house covered with dirt from head to toe.  To this day, I’m most happy when I’m either traipsing through the woods, or have my hands in the dirt planting something or caring for something.

So to share my birthday with Earth Day, I couldn’t be happier.  After I retired from the U.S. Coast Guard and we bought our first house in Southwest Michigan, (we had always rented prior to that), I couldn’t wait to design and plant flower beds and vegetable gardens.  One tradition that I started right away was that on Earth Day, I would plant a tree or bush.  One year I planted a forsythia bush at the end of my driveway.  Every spring it burst into a beautiful yellow beacon that told me summer was not too far off.  Nine years later, when we sold the house and moved to the Northeast side of the state, I knew I was going to miss that harbinger of spring, and I truly do.  Our springs up here come later that they did down there, so my Earth Day plantings have to wait until it warms up enough, but I still do plant something every year in celebration of Earth Day.  I hope to leave this Earth a better and prettier place than when I arrived in it.

Geocaching also allows me to feed my need for the out-of-doors.  And it also affords me the opportunity to help keep the Earth a little cleaner.  Most times, if I’m at a cache and I see discarded cans, bottles, or trash in general, I will make a concerted effort to pick up there area.  Here in Michigan, we have a 10 cent deposit on certain cans and bottles, I have no problem picking up ‘money’ that other people have thrown out.  Geocaching.com actively supports the CITO (Cache In Trash Out) theme.   They also hold very large activities that support that theme.

So as a celebration of my birthday and Earth Day yesterday, we visited three caches in Oscoda, (on our way to dinner), and I’ve started seeds, (indoors for now) for a sunflower arrangement in my flower bed.  I can’t wait to get my hands dirty!

Happy caching,



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