Happy Earth Day!

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors;

we borrow it from our children.”

~ Chief Seattle

Newly mulched plants!

Newly mulched plants!

Earth Day, celebrated on April 22nd in 192 countries around the world, is the perfect day to hug a tree, plant a tree or … mulch a tree!  Valley Catholic’s Middle School students spent a gloriously sunny Earth Day (and their last SOLVE day ): ) mulching about 300 native trees and shrubs planted along Johnson Creek.  Some students got really into it, shouting out “More mulch!” and “It’s Mulch Madness!”  Adding mulch (ie barkdust, this kind made from Douglas-fir trees):

~ prevents invasive weeds from growing up around new native plants

~ adds nutrients to the soil as it decomposes

~ retains water for the plant… especially with the coming drier summer

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The class also got a history lesson about Earth Day (and then proceeded to clap for the Earth and wish her “happy birthday”!).  Some Earth Day facts:

founded in 1970 by Wisconsin senator Gaylord Nelson after witnessing a toxic river on fire in Cleveland and an oil spill in California

– inspired by the anti-Vietnam War rallies at college campuses, he hoped to spark interest in service and educational activities centered on environmental issues (back then few people even knew what recycling was!)

– by 1971, there was a 2,500% increase in Americans who felt environmental issues are of concern

– led to the creation of the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act and the Environmental Protection Agency

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THANK YOU to Valley Catholic Middle School students and teachers for your energy and enthusiasm this school year!  There would still be SO much invasive Armenian blackberry without you … you rock!

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