Earth Day at The Cabin Path..an all day event! We began with a morning walk..listening to the songs of birds and frogs. We saw nesting geese and the Great Blue Heron. We looked for more wildflowers and identified more trees. We collected some leaves and sticks for an art project, and then we sat in the labyrinth cove and watched the rippling water and talked about what Earth Day meant to them .

Earth Day, they decided, is a special day to think about the ways to protect and preserve the earth for future generations. The beauty of their comments was the fact that they all realize that even small actions make a difference. They have learned that trash not only litters and looks ugly, but also that it may be harmful if eaten by wildlife. They have learned that common pesticides can affect many animals and people because the water from The Cabin Path flows into a larger creek..and then to the Chattahoochee River. They see that even a fallen tree can provide shelter and homes for insects and animals. They have watched as years of drought and then record rains have caused many old giant trees to fall, and they have watched as these fallen trees break down to make new soil. They have identified leaves and seeds of these trees, and they have planted acorns and are watching oak trees grow. They have watched as birds and insects make their homes in trees, and they understand that when trees are cut down, they are also destroying a whole eco system. I was amazed that their weekly visits have made a difference in the way that they see and understand nature, and I believe that they will be the generation to care for this earth.

We walked back to the Gathering Room to build our Leaf Mobiles. We took rubbings of the veins in the leaves and then traced them and cut them out. Using ribbon and yarn and seeds and found objects, they constructed their mobiles.

We then walked down the Native American Prayer Tree to take part in a special international "Sing for the Trees" event. From Noon to 1 PM, there were groups all over the world that paused to celebrate trees and recognise their importance and beauty. Our Prayer Tree (documented by Don Wells, Mountain Stewards) is thought to have been once used by Native Americans in their celebrations. Vines were used to tie down and twist a young tree, and pines were selected because they are evergreen..and they would carry their prayers to the heavens year round.

On the walk back, we saw Pink Lady Slippers!

A picnic was next..we worked up an appetite! We also welcomed a new group for the afternoon workshops.

We explored the Native American hill that has a rock circle formation. It was used as a calendar to mark the paths of the sun and the moon. We are not sure which group of American Indians first constructed this circle, but we have found Mississippian pottery pieces and many artifacts. We then returned to the labyrinth for a walk and a time to reflect about the day.

...and to skip a few rocks and throw a few sticks into the water!

Earth Day at The Cabin Path was a day to enjoy this earth! It included our regular workshop group and a few new faces, too..including a Grandmother who decided to wait for us on the Gathering Room deck. When we returned, she excitely announced that she had seen an owl fly over her, and it perched in a nearby tree! It was a good day for all..young and old, and an important way to celebrate Earth Day...and every day!

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Comment by Sarah Crutchfield on April 24, 2010 at 2:04pm
Thank you, John..I am honored! Please do visit if you are ever in the Atlanta area.
Comment by John Thielbahr on April 24, 2010 at 10:52am
Hi Sarah,
I, too, hope to visit your wonderful Cabin Path area some day soon. In a workshop presentation to the National Afterschool Assn. annual conference last week in Washington DC, the vision I presented was from the pictures you have shared on this site. If The Children & Nature Network is able to create some partnerships in your area, this is certainly a place where they will want to bring the children they serve. I will certainly be in touch with you when that happens. Thank you for staying in touch on this site and for inspiring us with your land and the children who benefit from it. John
Comment by Sarah Crutchfield on April 24, 2010 at 3:40am
Thank you, Suz..if you are ever in our area, I'd love for you to visit! Nature is the teacher...and I learn something new every walk, too! A Lakota visited our place last summer...he gave me a Lakota name that means "caregiver of the land"..I hope to honor that for many more years!
Comment by Suz Lipman on April 23, 2010 at 8:05am
Wow, Sarah. I'm very moved by your post. What a beautiful and meaningful day, on lots of levels, for all generations. You have such a special relationship to your land. It's so wonderful that you're passing it on to so many people. Thank you for sharing this with us.

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