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Plant a Tree on National Arbor Day

Arbor Day, The Canopy Project, Planting TreesGo ahead and plant a tree today! Today is National Arbor Day and across the nation we are promoting and celebrating the importance of trees. In 1872, when J. Sterling Morton founded Arbor Day, his idea was to simply set aside a special day for tree planting. Trees serve some very vital purposes essential for beautifying our planet, for environmental benefits and improving the human condition. On the heels of celebrating Earth Day on Wednesday April 22, National Arbor Day taps into forests and grasslands in our cities, states and nation, to look for opportunities to learn about, educate and preserve our trees.

According to forestry.about.com, here are 10 reasons why living trees are valuable:

Trees Produce Oxygen
Trees Clean the Soil
Trees Control Noise Pollution
Trees Slow Storm Water Runoff
Trees Are Carbon Sinks
Trees Clean the Air
Trees Shade and Cool
Trees Act as Windbreaks
Trees Fight Soil Erosion
Trees Increase Property Values

Learn more about National Arbor Day at the Arbor Day Foundation. Get an online tree guide, learn about programs and ways you can take action and discover techniques on how to care for our forests, nurture and celebrate trees.

Happy National Arbor Day!

 
 

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Earth Day: For Better or Worse

Earth Day, Environmental Awareness, EcoFriendly

Image Credit: Earth Day Network

Are we taking action to repair the damage we’ve done to the earth, or taking precautionary measures to prevent further manmade disasters and destruction to our planet? Today, we commemorate Earth DayEarth Day Network’s year-round mission is to broaden, diversify and activate the environmental movement worldwide, through a combination of education, public policy, and consumer campaigns. Earth Day Network is committed to promoting sustainability and environmental conservation 365 days of the year, not just on Earth Day.

Economic growth and sustainability lies within our power and how we respond to our caretaking responsibility is a choice we have, which could be a matter of life and death. Let’s take better care of our planet, because if we don’t, our planet certainly won’t protect us. What are you doing to get involved on Earth Day and what type of ecological footprint are you leaving?

 
 

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Tea & Poetry Daily Celebrations during National Poetry Month

tea & poetry book club logo 2Hats off to the Tea & Poetry Book Club for featuring famous and Indie poets each day, throughout the month of April in celebration of National Poetry Month! Paying homage to the biggest literary celebration that was founded by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, Tea & Poetry featured a different poetic tribute either to a famous poet from different movements, or Indie poets who submitted their information for consideration each day. We still have 9 more days to go before the month ends, so check out the daily poetry features on Tea & Poetry and get your poetry swaggar on. Continue to celebrate poetry, writing and reading, regardless of the occasion or time of the year. For the remainder of April, however, have a cup of your favorite flavor of tea, with a slice of poetry, and Happy National Poetry Month!

 

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Poetry Open Mic: A Sweet Treat for Mother’s Day

Mother's Day, Poetry Open Mic, Indian Trail Cultural Arts Center

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2015 in Holidays, Poetry, Reading

 

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Celebrating Our Nation during National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month, Poetry Open Mic, Indian Trail Cultural Arts Center

Celebrating National Poetry Month, at the Indian Trail Cultural Arts Center, on Saturday April 11th exploded with fun and creative zest for everyone who attended this literary event. Participants accepted the poetry prompt challenge to (a) select a state, not necessarily one they are a native of and (b) compose a poem characteristic of that state to recite to the audience. We wanted to highlight the “National” in the celebration’s namesake and pay homage to our dear country and the freedoms we are privy to enjoy. On display was a copy of the mayoral proclamation issued during National Poetry Month 2014, by Mayor Michael Alvarez of Indian Trail, North Carolina. The proclamation recognized April, as National Poetry Month for the town. A 2015 National Poetry Month poster designed by Roz Chast that was inspired by Mark Strand’s poem, Eating Poetry was on display.

Moderator Kym Gordon Moore began the program by reflecting on the great 1814 poem, Defence of Ft. M’Henry, written by poet Francis Scott Key. This poem was set to a popular British song written by John Stafford Smith, named To Anacreon in Heaven. We know this familiar tune as The Star Spangled Banner. The audience stood and sang our beloved national anthem. The poem contains 4 stanzas compared to the first stanza that we commonly sing.

Poets who read for the evening’s open mic were: Casey Zvanut, Christian George, Brian Back, Sydney Nazloo, Joy Young, Norman Bartee, Dwight Roth and Kym Gordon Moore. A special historical tribute was made by Roger Fish recognizing the state of South Carolina. This evenings participants were chosen to have their poem featured on Poets for Hunger this month. We were also delighted to have for the first time, at our open mic readings, Matthew George, who shared one of his personal poems to add some additional spice to the evening’s celebration. Check out our slideshow!

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Artists Erin Penland and Alicia McDaniel painted their rendition of the poems being read, based on the atmosphere of the event on the mediums they chose. Erin chose to paint a tapestry of abstract symbols on fabric, while Alicia chose an abstract textural angle that she painted on a blank drawing of the United States map.

Susan Didier, Community Development Specialist, presented the picture “Nightingale” that was painted and donated by local artist Eugene Smith. The painting will be awarded to the poet who wins “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words” Ekphrastic Poetry Contest next month. The award ceremony will be held during the “Pies, Pastries & Poetry” Mother’s Day open mic reading, on Saturday May 9th, at the Center.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2015 in Celebrations, Poetry, Reading

 

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Today is National Pecan Day

Pecans, National Pecan Day, Nuts

Growing up, I remember my grandfather having tons of pecan trees around his house. It seems like those pecans were huge and once you cracked them open, the meatiness of the nut, had a melt in your mouth texture. Oh how I miss those days and wish I could get some of those pecans today.

Did you know that the word pecan is Algonquian meaning “a nut requiring a stone to crack?” With a creamy taste and soft crunch, the pecan is a species of hickory, native to Mexico, along with the southcentral and southeastern regions of the United States. Technically, the pecan is a drupe, a fruit with a single stone or pit, surrounded by a husk.

Although this popular nut is celebrated on Pecan Day (March 25), it is also celebrated on April 14, National Pecan Day. The inaugural celebration of this food holiday in 1996 has been observed annually. Should you decided to bake something special with pecans today or embellish some of your favorite recipes and desserts with pecans, savor the succulent flavor of this fruity nut.

Feeling ambitious? Check out these tasty pecan recipes from Southern Living. By the way, to all of my fellow writers and poets out there, what’s on your writing menu for adding pecans to your literary recipes today? Have a pecan-licious day!

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2015 in Celebrations, Food

 

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How are you supporting National Recycling Month?

Recycling, National Recycling Month, Reuse, Repurpose

Sustainability is the key to our future. So often we waste more than we should, when we can save so much more by repurposing and recycling. This month, we are celebrating National Recycling Month. On April 19, 1989, President George Bush issued Proclamation 5957, recognizing April as National Recycling Month. An excerpt from that proclamation reads:

Recycling waste helps to preserve our limited landfill space. Recycling also reduces the need to extract resources from their natural environment and thus helps to prevent the pollution such removal efforts create. It also saves energy and provides a less expensive alternative to landfills and incineration. Finally, communities can use the materials recovered through recycling to generate revenue.

Although we celebrate National Recycling Month in April, recycling should be an everyday mandate for all of us, nationally and globally. Do you recycle? Do you find the importance of recycling and repurposing, or do you think it is a waste of time? Recycling is an everyday thing to do in my household, along with repurposing. Our community participates in pick-up services for recyclables, along with our trash on garbage pickup day.

If you do not have a community wide program that encourages recycling, then you can start. First check your local recycling services for the types of items that are accepted for recycling. For more information on how you can get involved or initiate recycling awareness, check out a few of these nationwide organizations:

Keep America Beautiful

The FreeCycle Network

TerraCycle

For all of you writers and advocates out there, spread the word, by using your writing talents to make a literary contribution to support recycling in your neck of the woods!

 

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