Gila Earth Day is being celebrated this month, providing a variety of opportunities to take action on behalf of our planet. The international theme for this year’s event is “Restore Our Earth”, and the Gila Resources Information Project (GRIP) and Gila Earth Day planning committee have organized multiple activities: virtual programming from participant organizations, classrooms, and individuals throughout the month of April; a virtual book tour discussion with Laura Paskus, author of At the Precipice New Mexico’s Changing Climate on Thursday, April 22; and small, COVID-safe community actions around the region on Saturday, April 24.
Gila Earth Day Films
April is designated as Earth Month and we’ll be streaming Earth Day programming on the Gila Earth Day Facebook page and on Vimeo throughout the month. Among the local films to be shown are the Gila Native Plant Society’s How to Plant a Native Plant, and Green Energy Now’s Rainwater and Green Infrastructure, and Habitat Restoration on the Pitchfork Ranch.
Gila Earth Day Presentation with Laura Paskus Thursday, April 22nd
NM PBS environment reporter Laura Paskus will speak about her new book At the Precipice: New Mexico’s Changing Climate (University of New Mexico Press, 2020) on Thursday, April 22 at 6:00 pm on Zoom. REGISTER for free at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_DbR9F2LeSpK709ptXR-K8A
New Yorker Magazine’s Elizabeth Kolbert writes in her review of At the Precipice “As Laura Paskus makes clear, the stakes of climate change in the American Southwest couldn’t be higher. Deeply reported and vividly written, At the Precipice is an important contribution to the literature of our reckless age.”
A dynamic and knowledgeable speaker, Laura Paskus has been writing about New Mexico’s natural resources and communities since 2002 as an assistant editor of High Country News, a radio producer at KUNM-FM, managing editor of Tribal College Journal and a freelancer for a variety of publications including the Santa Fe Reporter, New Mexico In Depth and Indian Country Today. Her work has also appeared in Al Jazeera America, Ms. Magazine, National Geographic Online, Orion and other national publications. She is the producer of the New Mexico In Focus series “Our Land: New Mexico’s Environmental Past, Present, and Future.” There will be a question and answer session at the end of her presentation.
Gila Earth Day Community Action Day, Saturday, April 24
Additionally, the Gila Earth Day planning committee has organized small, COVID-safe community actions for Saturday, April 24. Do your part to Restore Our Earth by participating in the following activities:
- San Vicente Creek Cleanup and Restoration with Silver City Watershed Keepers– meet at the Murray Ryan Visitors Center in Silver City between 9 am and 2pm to help with trash cleanup, native plant restoration, and cleaning of the Big Ditch mural. Bring a hat, gloves, water bottle and your face mask. We’ll provide trash bags and snacks.
- Piños Altos Creek Cleanup near The Commons – meet at The Commons, Corbin and 13th streets, from 9:00 am and 12:00 to help with trash cleanup. Bring a hat, gloves, water bottle and your face mask. We’ll provide trash bags and snacks.
- Cameron Creek Cleanup with Heart of the Gila and Santa Clara Action Committee – meet at Voila Stone Park at 10:00, cleanup will continue until 1:00 pm. Bring a hat, gloves, water bottle and your face mask. We’ll provide trash bags, gloves, and snacks.
- Plan your own family, friend, business or church cleanup of a neighborhood street, creek, Highway 180 or Highway 90. Post a photo of your community action on the Gila Earth Day Facebook page on April 24 for a free copy of A Song for the River, by Phillip Connors, courtesy of Heart of the Gila.
Other family-friendly Gila Earth Day activities include:
- Scavenger Hunt with the Continental Divide Trail Coalition – Game cards will be available on the Gila Earth Day Facebook page, and at the Murray Ryan Visitor’s Center on April 24th from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. The first ten people to send us a photo of their completed scavenger hunt card will win gift certificates from the Silver City MainStreet Project.
- Cliff Swallow Observation with SWNM Audubon Society – The Bayard Public Library will make available educational materials on cliff swallows, a migratory bird that nests here in Grant County. These materials will also be available on the Gila Earth Day Facebook page, and at the Murray Ryan Visitors Center on Saturday, April 24th from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, and will include information about cliff swallows and their local nesting sites.
Thank you to our generous and supportive sponsors, including Advocates for Snake Preservation, Lynda Aiman-Smith, Aldo Leopold Charter School Youth Conservation Corps, The Commons, Continental Divide Trail Coalition, Heart of the Gila, Gila Conservation Coalition, Gila Native Plant Society, Gila Resources Information Project, Grant County Beekeepers, Green Energy Now, Lone Mountain Natives Nursery, Lotus Center, Silver City Daily Press & Independent, Silver City MainStreet and Visitor’s Center, Silver City Watershed Keepers, Southwest New Mexico Audubon Society, Thinking ON a Mountain, Town of Silver City, Upper Gila Watershed Alliance, Western Institute for Lifelong Learning (WILL), Wild Earth Guardians, and the Youth Mural Project.
If you would like to sponsor or volunteer for Gila Earth Day, or if you have any questions about these events, please contact GRIP Membership & Program Coordinator Doyne Wrealli at email@example.com, or visit the Gila Earth Day page on Facebook.