Women and The Earth

By Valissa Johnson and Melanie Buckingham

     It is often said that women hold up half the sky. The actual percentage could easily be argued, but the importance and impact of women in the world cannot be denied. There has been a long-awaited surge in the advancement and visibility of women in the workplace, media, entertainment, and politics.  But we are not surprised. Whether we work, study, stay home, or volunteer,  women are a positive presence and force to be recognized.

     Supporting the sky is important, but the earth defines the edges. The shifting climate, impact of humanity, and movement towards earth-friendly living have changed how we interact with the earth and each other. New information, products, and green tricks are continuously created and shared. Women can be a driving force in spreading knowledge and awareness, through family, friends, and work. The impulse to plan for the future, take care of what currently exists, and learn from the past are advantages women can use to care for the earth.

     Thinking of future generations of women, studies have recommended that educating girls is critical to solving climate change problems. Providing funding and opportunities for girls to pursue education helps decrease maternal and infant mortality and reduces the number of girls marrying as children. Education also helps women withstand and adapt to natural disasters and extreme weather events. As the Earth and nature’s cycles continue to be affected by climate change, education will ensure women’s ability to nurture their families through these dynamics.

     Currently, climate change is an enormously hot topic, and can be intimidating when taken as a whole. The variety of environmental subjects can be mind-boggling: the air, water, soil, food, animals, plants, and on. Tackling all the options is overwhelming; going electric, what can be recycled, how to grow healthy foods. This is where Greensboro and the Greensboro Public Library would like to introduce Kathleen Clay Edwards Family  Branch Library, the environmentally-focused branch. The library is situated in the Price Park nature preserve with 98 acres of walking trails, meadows, gardens, and ponds.

     Within the library, one can find books on green living in areas such as home building and remodeling, eating, shopping, travelling, investing, careers and parenting. The fiction collection also features many new and classic environmental writings. The youth section includes many activity-based books such as gardening and outdoor-based fun.

     Visitors to the library and Price Park can enjoy bird-watching, nature photography, strolling, geocaching, dog walking, picnicking. There’s fun places to read and relax on the screened porch, by the fireplace, or gazing out the windows at the beautiful scenery. Visitors can also enjoy the varied programs the library offers such as nature programs led by the T. Gilbert Pearson Audubon Society, Piedmont Bird Club, the Triad Chapter of the Native Plant Society, or the Guilford County Master Gardeners. The branch offers a monthly Friday Green Reads Book Club, environmental education classes for educators, as well as other environmental/ nature programming.

Kathleen Clay Edwards Family Branch is well known for the annual Earth Day celebration which attracts thousands of visitors. This year’s event on Saturday, April 6 is a free, fun and educational afternoon for all ages. Over 50 exhibitors will feature hands-on activities focusing on nature, gardening, STEM learning, and technology. Guests can enjoy hayrides, face painting, alternative vehicles, a bounce house, gardening and energy/technology displays, nature photography, live animals, games, and entertainment. Scouts can earn credit towards badges by visiting the exhibits. Discover the nature resources in our area and nature stewardship opportunities in our community by visiting the Earth Day event. Find ways to change your ecological footprint to make a greener Greensboro and global community.