Today is Earth Day, 2022. We have been commemorating a call to environmental action for 52 years. Many things have changed (can anyone say hybrid vehicles and clean energy?), yet we are in a far more precarious environmental place than we were all those many years ago. There is more urgency in everything we do to combat climate change. The CEO of AmeriCorps issued a press release today and framed our current climate moment like this:
"Now is the time to improve parks and public lands, increase energy efficiency, strengthen rural
and urban economies, expand opportunity for young people and veterans and create the next
generation of conservation and climate resilience leaders."
I might tweak the above slightly to include more local food production (which, arguably, will strengthen all local economies), but will also better sustain local communities. That next generation of leaders needs to be well nourished!
The VISTA crew here in Fairbanks today built four hydroponic grow towers for distribution to our local Fire and Public Works Departments. With a little seedling help to get them started, these departments will be able to grow fresh herbs and greens right at their locations year-round. I cannot wait to see how they use their fresh produce ... and how thrilled they will be in the dead of the next Fairbanks winter to be able to just walk to a grow tower on site and pick fresh lettuce!
It was a fun yet meaningful day (see photos below). I also provide a shout out to the Boys & Girls Club of Fairbanks for hosting a second tower building session at the club.
All next week we will be celebrating AmeriCorp's National Volunteer Week! (And, fyi - April is National Volunteer Month; next Friday is also Earth Day.) Look for long overdue thank you posts for the VISTAs who departed in late winter, as well as what we are doing as a VISTA crew to celebrate Earth Day sustainably.