Friday, April 27, 2012

Mr. Jim Celebrates Earthday 2012…

… with students from The Peacebus!

Earthday is one of my mostest favouritest days of the year! I love using my minds eye to see the millions of people from around the world celebrating the life energies of this ol’ great planet that we all share!! If the Earth could, I’m sure that she would send out a glorious ‘THANKS!’ to all those who cleaned up litter from parks, roadsides and river edges and those who planted trees, shrubs and bushes in parks.

To get to the Earthday event that I invited all of you – my readers – and my Peacebus students to, I hopped on a city bus. I live near Springbank Park and at this time of year so many colourful blossoms decorate the many trees along the roadside.

 I got dropped off downtown and continued my way to Watson Park via my feet, which was just a short 15 walk away. As I crossed over the Wellington Street Bridge I noticed that I was following and being followed by large groups of parents with their children. There were many in attendance and I thought that was just great!

It was still early – the opening speeches hadn’t even started yet – and people were already busying themselves with shovels.

To take this photo, I stood in an area that was planted last year. You can see that the trees are doing very well, with their leaves just starting to grow for this year. The areas that get planted are left to grow as Nature intended. The grasses and weeds and wildflowers fill the area and the Park’s maintenance crews let the long grasses grow. Each year less and less area is mowed and this means that less and less fossil fuels are burned in the mowing machines.

The trees that we plant are all indigenous to this region of Southern Ontario. Some coniferous species are planted, small shrub bushes like Dogwood and really tall trees – like this one – really help to completely fill in these areas. Just imagine how beautiful this whole area will look in another 20-30 years!!!!!

This (for now… soon to grow…) cedar is one of the trees that I planted last year. I always like to see if I can find the trees that I’ve planted in this space over the last several years.

In this photo we see London’s famous town crier Bill Paul – our M/C for the day, along with Steve Sauders – Mr. Earthday Canada himself inspiring the crowd with some uplifting words. “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time to plant a tree is today!” We also heard statements from the politicians seen here.

We all had a chuckle when one of the politicians said that all three of them would join forces in planting a tree, “to show that different levels of our government can actually work together!”

Every so often, I would gaze around the crowd to see if any of The Peacebus students and their parents had arrived. Last year, two students showed up and I was hoping that as many would show up this year. After the first hour had passed I began thinking that I might not see any of my students, but then, from a distance, I heard, “Hey Mr. Jim! Hey Mr. Jim!” and I turned to see two face painted students running towards me!!!!!

A few minutes later, I noticed another student already busy with his father planting several trees. Another quick moment later, I heard my name being shouted across the area as another student arrived. By the end of the day seven Peacebus students had shown up, bringing with them another twelve adults and so I was happy to realize that I had inspired 19 people to attend and plant trees on this amazing afternoon!!!

Over this last week, I’ve been collecting photos from the students’ parents, of the students who attended. I spent a while this morning designing this….

… poster that I’m going to make copies of to share with these students - a very personal souvenir to remember this day by!

I hope that your Earthday adventures were as educational and inspirational as the one that I participated in and on behalf of Mother Earth I extend unto you a soulful and heartfelt ‘Thank You!’

Mr. Jim

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