If there is one lesson to learn from Earth Day, it is that everyone can make a difference in their own way, starting with their own corner of the world. There are changes we can all make to reduce our plastic usage, our reliance on fossil fuels, and in countless other areas to try to do our part to help the environment.
Workday for Wildlife is our chance to take a moment to do something to benefit the environment, wildlife, wildlife habitat, or simply to make changes in our lives that lead to becoming a better environmental steward. This year, Earth Day (April 22) falls at the end of National Volunteer week, and we at Maine Audubon couldn’t think of a better time for us all to be “doing our part.”
Over the course of that week, we’re connecting you to a variety of wildlife- and habitat-focused volunteer opportunities. Participants at each are encouraged to document their service and share photos online with the hashtag #workdayforwildlife! These activities will kick off with the Scarborough Marsh Clean-up on Saturday, April 21:
April 21, 9am-noon: Annual Earth Day Clean-up at Scarborough Marsh
Join Linda Woodard and a corps of dedicated volunteers for this annual event that cleans up Maine’s largest salt marsh and prepares SMAC for the season. This year, water damage to the center from winter storms will be a feature of our clean-up efforts.
April 21, 9am-12:30pm: Maine Turtle Roadkill Survey Training
Join us at Viles Arboretum in Augusta to learn how you can help monitor Maine turtles as part of this important citizen science project. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
April 22, 9am-noon: Mast Landing Stewardship Day
Join Maine Audubon staff at Mast Landing Audubon Sanctuary in Freeport for a clean-up of trails and litter in this beautiful wildlife sanctuary on Earth Day! Bring work gloves and any tools you have handy (we’ll have some tools, too!). Contact me at email@example.com if you’ll be able to make it.
April 28, 9am-noon: Hamilton Stewardship Day
Join the caretakers of Hamilton Audubon Sanctuary in West Bath for a “spring cleaning” of this gorgeous, quiet sanctuary. Activities will include clearing trails, cutting trip roots, cutting back branches, repairing erosion damage, sprucing up and adding plantings to the memorial garden, and repairing winter damage. We’ll also be putting out field bird boxes that were removed last fall when fields were cut. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’ll be able to make it.
We’ll be adding more opportunities over the coming weeks. Our Chapters are also an excellent resource, so feel free to contact a Chapter near you to see what Earth Day activities they may be leading.
If you’re not able to join an event, there are other ways you can participate, too. Recently, high school interns Gabi and Elinor compiled an inspiring list of little ways we can all make a difference for the environment:
- Use your own water bottle day-to-day instead of purchasing new disposable plastic ones.
- Pick up litter you see outside on hikes, the beach, outside your house, and around your neighborhood!
- When you throw out six-pack rings, cut the plastic rings so that they don’t choke wildlife
- Use reusable grocery bags!
- Turn off the lights when you aren’t using them!
- Don’t throw out old clothes — if they’re still in good condition, donate!
- Carpool to school or work or take public transportation.
- Do not idle your car — turn it off when you are parked or waiting for someone (in the winter, warm it up for the shortest amount of time possible).
- Reuse plastic bags and containers (cleaned yogurt containers can hold leftovers, or cat food!).
- Stay on the trail when hiking so you don’t hurt wildlife habitats.
- Choose the quickest, most efficient route while driving
- Support organic farmers.
- Dispose of batteries and medications properly.
- In the winter, keep your doors and windows well-sealed to save energy.
- Pack your own lunch in reusable containers instead of buying every day.
We hope you will join us for a Workday for Wildlife volunteer opportunity in celebration of Earth Day and National Volunteer Week. Together we can all make a difference for wildlife!