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Celebrate Earth Day with poetry and local business EarthTones Gallery 

–April 22, 2020 marks 50 years of Earth Day. The first Earth Day sparked the passage in the U.S. of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts, and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

We are now in a major crisis with COVID-19. The coronavirus pandemic highlights the connection we have to our planet, people as well as the interconnectedness of our resources and ingenuity.

Earth Day can be a time to join together digitally as a global movement towards the next half-century of action.

Local natural resource groups, arts groups, schools and the Earth Day Alliance have traditionally celebrated Earth Day events in Paso Robles. Earth Day 50th Anniversary Poetry Initiative entitled Can You Dig It! Started in February with three country residents including Mary Uebersax, Owner of EarthTones Gifts, Gallery & Center for Healing, to chronicle this milestone event by creating an online journal about Earth stewardship. The poetry initiative planned to be online and since the current shelter-in-place has increased uses for digital formats it has proven helpful as a way to dialogue about many current issues, according to Ubersax.

“While we celebrate safe distancing and time to reflect on our natural places (homes, gardens, parks and open spaces) we can use the medium of poetry to tell our story about Earth Day.” said Ubersax. “The shut-in has prevented physical gatherings and has been a challenge for education across the board. The plan to share within an on-line platform can bridge parents, colleges, teachers and local natural resource groups while involving all ages in poetry writing to look at nature in new ways.”

The Poetry Initiative continued by sharing poetry prompts to encourage discovery about the history and relevance environmental action and research. Readers can request the prompts by writing

The international effort for Earth Day will be celebrated today for 24 hours (12:01 am ET – 11:59 pm ET on April 22) and one can enjoy Earth Day Network’s stream of digital global conversations, calls to action, performances, video teach-ins and more. See

Uebersax will be reading poetry contributed to the local initiative at 1 p.m. (April 22) streaming as an EarthTones’ Facebook event.

The poetry initiative will still be accepting submission of poems through April 30. An online journal and perhaps printed version will be published at the beginning of Summer.

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