An Oakmoss Summer

Our program line-up for the Summer of 2015 includes two field outings and a hands-on workshop in East Aurora, NY as we continue our mission to share the lessons of Nature to benefit the planet and all its inhabitants. Details and registration information available on our website. Please join us!

Twilight Trek
Saturday, July 11 – 7:00 to 9:00pm at West Falls Park. Enjoy an interpretive stroll through the woods and along the creek at dusk, one of the most active times of day as diurnal creatures wind down and nocturnal critters begin to rouse.

Field Flutterers
Saturday, July 25 – 9:00am to 11:30am at Knox Farm State Park. We’ll be seeking out the flighted creatures of the open field, be they insect or avian. From butterflies to birds, there are many species that fill the morning with activity.

Introduction to Herbal Concoctions
Saturday, August 1 – 1:00pm to 3:30pm at the Roycroft Campus Power House. A hands-on workshop in which students will become acquainted with incorporating common herbs into simple preparations for body care and overall general health.

The Paradox of Earth Day

Hin Han Kaga

A view from the trail up Hinhan Kaga Paha (the top of the world), the Lakota name for Mount Harney in the sacred Black Hills of South Dakota.

Every year as the date of Earth Day approaches, so many ask me, “Aren’t you excited?” or “What are you doing for Earth Day?”

“No, not really” or “Nothing special,” are typical responses.

Before the stoning begins for this apparent blasphemy, consider the rationale for why Earth Day was started and the necessity to continue this “holiday”. The reasons for both are the same – the planet is in a very precarious state and we humans are solely accountable for its condition. Had we been a responsible and ethical cohabitant, our Earth would be healthy and most of our fellow species not threatened by the looming largest extinction in recorded history due to habitat loss and climate change.

Yes, the day does bring awareness but after 40 some years what have we learned? Perhaps our air and water are in better condition, but there are still major issues affecting these resources. Plus climate change, industrial agriculture (including the health and hunger problems it has wrought), deforestation, contemptuous wildlife management policies, along with a corrupt world political system, do not bode well. In fact it can easily be argued that the planet is in worse shape than ever.

Most environmental stewards live Earth Day every day and so what we do on April 22nd is not “special” – it is ordinary. As for myself, I do not get “excited” about needing a special day to remind people about the damage we have done due to short-sightedness, greed, over-population, and over-consumption.

My hope is that one day we find it not necessary to have an annual Earth Day. How much better would it be to find ourselves overjoyed at the blessings given by this planet, living in harmony with our fellow species, and understanding the intimate and intrinsic connection we have with our Earth Mother. Then each day would be a true Earth Day.