“The Earth will not continue to offer its harvest, except with faithful stewardship. We cannot say we love the land and then take steps to destroy it for use by future generations.” (John Paul II)
How fortunate Ruth and I were to have arrived on our current road trip to witness the natural beauty of Seattle on Earth Day. Even more satisfying would be our decision to donate our time today for landscape restoration efforts at Volunteer Park on this chilly, Sunday morning. To be honest, this holiday,in the past, seemed little more than a once a year dose of “New Age” optimism. Yet this year, our active involvement to beautify Seattle seemed to manifest as a personal protest activity against a callously negative attitude our current Presidential regime manifests about endangered lands, animal protections and the role of scientific involvement in our country.
While the work we performed today to clear invasive weeds, pickup human debris and grade soil was dirty and basic, these old trees and surrounding shrubbery would be more likely to thrive in their natural habitat in summer and beyond. It would also be satisfying to know that a sizable crowd of new generation students from the University of Washington cared enough about Earth Day to eagerly join in with us today.
Being curious to see more of this park after our work ended, we would climb the steep steps of the nearby Water Tower to the Observation Deck for spectacular, 360 degree panoramas of the Seattle environs. Along the circular walls, a series of educational panels would document the historic commitment to develop and maintain public parks/open space throughout the city. With the imprint of Frederick Law Olmstead’s legacy of landscape beautification notably accomplished here, over fifty public parks now exist in Seattle today.
An interesting Earth Day for us would conclude with a short stroll around the sprawling campus of the U. Of Wash. Springtime bloomed prolifically along stately pedestrians walkways opening into a Central Campus Plaza. A mystical glimpse at the faint outlines of Mount Rainer would now be revealed to us over a cascade of water sculpture in the southerly distance. Seattle clearly had given us motivation today to think of Earth Day as a recurring theme for environmental preservation for every day of our lives.