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Dear editor,

The significance of an annual Earth Day celebration stands out like a beacon of hope and determination in our increasingly troubled environment. PFAS in our water, benzene in our deodorants, sunscreens and other commonly used products, particles of plastic now showing up in the blood coursing through our bodies and in our lungs, pesticides and climate change; the evidence that decades of environmental carelessness threaten life on this planet of ours is all around us.

Rather than throw our hands up in despair we choose to honor this unique, living planet upon whose health the rich diversity of life depends, and to dedicate our efforts to live in harmony with her ways. We take one small step forward, by planting trees, fifteen of them, that will inhale and sequester some of the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere and exhale the oxygen we breath.

Sponsored by the local Citizen’s Climate Lobby Chapter and NAOMI of Wausau we invite you to celebrate Earth Day with us and fifteen tree planting teams at 11AM, on April 23rd at Memorial Park. In the spirit of Wausau’s Community for All Resolution those trees will be planted by our sisters and brothers from our Indigenous, Hmong, African American, and Hispanic communities as well as Muslim, Jewish and Christian members of our Family. We are also excited to have tree planting teams from the LGBTQ community and various local organizations like the YWCA, MOSAIC, Citizens for a Clean Wausau, Citizens Action and more.

This is the sixth year in a row we have celebrated Earth Day with tree plantings. We have always worked closely with the Wausau/Marathon County Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department and are grateful for that partnership. Until last year we were only able to plant one tree each year, but because of a grant from the Community Foundation our celebration brought our community together to plant fifteen trees for the first time. This year we are particularly pleased to have a planting team from the Community Foundation among us.

Mayor Katie Rosenberg will dedicate the trees, and Tony Brown, a member of the Menominee nation, will bless them.

Trees are expensive. Last year’s donations bought this year’s trees, so we appreciate and encourage donations towards next year’s Earth Day. In return for a five dollar or larger gift we will provide a cotton shopping bag that you can use instead of a plastic bag when you shop.

Join us as we honor our Mother Earth, and pledge with us to walk gently and respectfully upon her so that our descendants will have a safe and life nurturing planet to enjoy their lives on.

Dan Barth, Mosinee