On Friday April 22nd, LSW will join nearly 100 million people worldwide to celebrate Earth Day, an annual event dedicated to environmental protection, advocacy, and action. Over the years, Earth Day has ushered in several national acts including the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act, and the Substances Control Act. The celebration has brought a wave of positive change to this planet through the collective action of people all over the world. Each year focuses on a different theme to inspire change. For Earth Day 2022, the theme is “Invest in Our Planet”.
While it’s well-known and celebrated world-wide, Earth Day has a special connection to our local community. Denis Hayes, the primary national organizer of Earth Day in 1970, grew up in Camas, Washington. He graduated from Camas High School and attended Clark Community College here in Vancouver. His experience living in a paper mill community that was polluted with industrial waste made an impact on him, planting an early activist seed that would grow as he matured.
Denis’ environmental advocacy hasn’t stopped with Earth Day. He is currently the CEO of the Bullitt Foundation – an organization that applies principles of ecology to the design of healthy, resilient human ecosystems. From Camas to cities across the Pacific Northwest, Denis has dedicated his life to investing in sustainable communities. He has even promoted sustainable architecture through his leadership in designing and constructing the Bullitt Center in Seattle. It stands as one of the most sustainable commercial office buildings in the world, and it represents a local example of resilient, environmentally friendly building design.
The Magnitude of a Movement
LSW has designed several multi-family housing projects in Happy Valley, Oregon. As we mulch trees in mindful anticipation of summer heat, we are caring for the Earth and cultivating a tree canopy that will provide habitat, shade, and beauty for future visitors to the park – animals, plants, and people alike.
Change is the only constant in our world. The oceans, the forests, our cities, and our communities will continue to change for better or worse; everyone has a role to play in this process. Our challenge for anyone reading this is to ask how can you “Invest in Our Planet”?
Will you take your bike to work, or make a meat-free dinner? Can you join a local stream clean-up? Investment can look like time or money or relationships. Earth Day is about engagement and taking the time to connect with the Earth.
Here’s hoping that while we dig in, hands first, we will have a little fun too!