Earth Day: a day to grow


Art by Isabella Kneeshaw

Meant in a literal and figurative sense, Earth Day is a day to plant seeds and make change. In the world’s current climate, every decision made to nurture the environment now makes an impact that can last for generations. 

We asked Jackie Konen, the City of Tualatin’s Volunteer Coordinator, a few questions about her experience with cultivating a nurturing relationship with the earth.


What advice would you give someone who wants to start making a difference environmentally in their community?

“Volunteer. Find a program or a cause that inspires you and try it out. Plant a tree, pick up a piece of trash, just start small and do something because everything counts.”


With Earth day up ahead, what are some specific ways that people can make a difference this year? 

“Ha, don’t get me started. The big dream would be for the whole United States not to drive anywhere or buy anything on Earth Day and just stay home and clean up their yard or neighborhood, plant some native flowering bee-friendly plants and just spend time reflecting on how important the Earth is to survival and what role they can play in supporting that concept. Maybe someone will start that movement.”


What value do you find in investing in climate action?

“Ever since I was small, the earth fascinated me. From the tiniest line of ants marching for food, to a really big tree, to the vast Pacific Ocean, to the smell of dirt, I was enamored by the planet and all its wonders. The value in investing in climate action can protect, enhance and help in some small way our only home – the planet Earth.”


What inspired you to begin making a sustainable impact in the world? 

“My Dad and Mom were ranchers, ultimate conservationists and protectors of the land.  They understood the impact cattle could have on streams, soil, forest and air quality and they did everything they could to practice sustainable ranching procedures. Every family dinner included some observation on weather, land use, animal husbandry, native plants and animals and the nature around us. They inspired me to tread lightly, clean up after myself and leave the place a little better than I found it.”


Stamey and Konen beautifully summed up not only Earth Day’s value but the role we as humans play in each day making an effort towards a more symbiotic relationship with the beloved place we call home.


Earth Day Volunteering Opportunities: 

TuHS Climate Change Activism Club: Tuesdays after school

Friends of Trees

City of Tualatin Volunteering

Tuesday’s for Trash

Portland Earth Day Events