Is it the anticipation of Bill McKibben’s lecture tonight or this salad of UIEC Garden greens and Wilson’s Orchard apples that brings my mind back to last weekend?
Last Sunday , 10/10/10, was a day filled with climate action and awareness, student and community activism, as well as spending time with old friends and new acquaintances alike.
On the Pentacrest under a cloudless, sunny sky, over 100 passionate people congregated for the 350.org day of climate action and awareness founded by author and environmentalist, Bill McKibben. Among the crowd and tablers were: Senator Joe Bolkom, who spoke at the event; Craig Just, UI engineering professor and advisor for the new Sustainable Living-Learning Community; Liz Christiansen, Director of the Office of Sustainability; Mike Carberry, Director of I-RENEW; representatives from the Green Party; and many others from the University and Iowa City community. There was also a good turn out of students and student orgs such as Engineers for a Sustainable World (who organized the event), ECO Hawk (who handled recycling) and the UI Environmental Coalition, and UIEC Student Garden who walked, biked and enlisted help for our greenhouse pull.
Tying the knot with volunteers is at times difficult but we managed to get some recruits to help us pull the ropes. After the event ended, twenty garden enthusiasts and myself headed to the UIEC Student Garden in hopes of moving the greenhouse over one plot to the east.
Earlier in the day Stephen Bonett, a UI junior and garden manager, and I discussed the necessity of moving the greenhouse. While we knew it helps keep nutrients in the soil and reduces the number of pests that accumulate, we still wondered if we couldn’t just plant some greens and extend their growing season in the same plot where the greenhouse stood. Then we decided–we have a moveable greenhouse and we have people that can pull–we should move it.
We split up into two teams of ten and took the ropes in two hands and started tugging. In the end, the pull was a great success. As we all took a step back to watch the sun set, I felt extremely connected. Connected to the people around me at the garden, to the land, to the University, to the community and with people in 188 other countries who were working on this day towards a similar goal.
Having the opportunity to be part of a global movement like 350.org and watching it take shape on a local level brought a certain happiness and contentedness. Certainly a building’s journey of twenty some feet will not change the world. But maybe these 10/10/10 actions–biking, walking, pulling–can help, like a pulley to a rope, to cause a greater shift in paradigm.
Thank you to all who helped move greenhouses on Sunday as well as move ideals in a new direction.