Each spring, Proctor celebrates Earth Day with an entire day dedicated to learning, experiencing, and loving the natural world around us. While we don't observe Earth Day on the official day, the impact of our celebration on our community is very real.
This year, students and faculty gathered to watch Elemental and Racing Extinction Wednesday evening before kicking off Thursday's events with a community-wide conversation with alum JR White Hat (a snippet of JR's talk is above). His sharing of the Lakota creation story in relation to our responsibility to take care of our world around us laid the perfect foundation for the day's faculty-led workshops.
With three sessions offered throughout the day, students had dozens of workshops available, ranging from hiking Mt. Kearsarge to working with the NH Fish Hatchery to studying wildlife in Proctor Pond to experimenting how mushrooms may be a substitute for styrofoam. Other groups cleaned the town beach, did roadside cleanup, and visited Permacity Life in Franklin to learn about the remarkable permaculture project underway there.
JR's message was the perfect opening to the day, "We need to change. We need to start looking at the world, and all its inhabitants as relatives. We need to do what's necessary. I've always appreciated Proctor for that. We need to be more inventive, we're so comfortable with all these conveniences. We have the ability to live cleaner, greener lives, and need to develop new ways to make that happen."
"All of you have the power to do that. You have the power to give life or to take life; to be positive or to be negative, the power to build or destroy. I humbly ask you to make these changes for our children, so this world can survive."
Spending time connecting with nature is not only good for the soul, but it encourages us to live intentionally. Working in small groups learning, creating, and exploring was exactly what we needed on this beautiful spring day: a reminder of our very important role in caring for the beauty of the natural world around us.
Many thanks to Environmental Coordinator Alan McIntyre and his assistants, Melanie Maness and Lindsay Brown, for helping organize such a wonderful day. Also, a big thank you to all the faculty and staff who sponsored workshops and shared photos and videos from their groups!