Friday, April 10, 2015

Lubbock Local Wildlife: Earth Day, Drought, Clapp Park

Earth Day is fast approaching. April 22. This will be Earth Day's 45th anniversary, so Earth Day and I are close to the same age. This year I have wanted to do something more significant to honor the day. The old brain casted about for the right thing, and then I ran across this article:

Earth Day Pond Cleanup

And Clapp Park came to mind. I love Clapp Park. I love that such a wild and often beautiful place is a two-minute bike ride from my house. (I love Mae Simmons and Aztl├ín Parks in the same way, but they require a lot more pedaling.) I decided to spend a few hours picking up trash at Clapp to mark and celebrate Earth Day. I am going for the old Think Globally, Act Locally idea this year.

Wednesday was a rough day - lots of rough news about people around us. Sasha and I found ourselves with a shared restlessness, so we decided to walk around Clapp on an Earth-Day scouting run. (Note to self: never go to Clapp without a real camera, the vaguely intelligent phone just does not do it justice.)

We saw lots of cool things and apparently smelled even more. We saw some nice raised-bed gardens inside the arboretum fence. We saw evidence that someone has been using tree branches to lay out protected areas for butterfly gardens and other small nature refuges. We also saw that someone had been working at clearing trash.

On a less positive front, we saw that the two ponds had dried up to almost nothing. We saw lots of trash. Lots of trash. The two remaining spots of water were teeming with overcrowded life - turtles, frogs, fish, and opportunistic birds.

With man-made trash and drought, the place has become a bittersweet place for me, but one worth working for. So, what are your plans for Earth Day?

May every day be Earth Day, and may you be one of those who keep it going.