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Healing power of Nature

On April 22, the world celebrates Earth Day


by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Viri and Danny Arguello take Graham and Phoebe, whom they were babysitting, for a walk in Leach Botanical Garden on Wednesday morning.“The Earth is what we all have in common,” said American novelist and poet Wendell Berry.

Come April, people around the world begin planning and organizing events to restore and protect the planet in celebration of Earth Day.

Recognized by more than 192 countries each year, Earth Day is celebrated on April 22.

The first Earth Day was April 22, 1970.

According to The Earth Day Network, “Earth Day 1970 capitalized on the emerging consciousness, channeling the energy of the anti-war protest movement and putting environmental concerns front and center.”

The date is considered the birth of the modern environmental movement.

As more than 1 billion people celebrate Earth Day across the globe and here in East County, David Porter, executive director at Leach Botanical Garden, reflects on the importance of nature to our well-being.

Porter said not only is it subjective opinion that places such as botanical gardens and natural spaces are important to our well-being, but increasingly there is scientific evidence.

One of England’s top doctors — Sir Richard Thompson, president of the Royal College of Physicians — said recently at a green cities conference in London that plants help reduce stress, anger and depression.

He added that a lack of activity is contributing to higher death rates in industrialized nations, making parks for people to exercise essential.

Porter said the role of the botanical garden in outer Southeast Portland is more than a place of beauty where people can explore nature. It is a place of refuge for urban dwellers.

“We are a place of repository where people can get away, be at peace and relax. We see all the time that is something people deeply care about. That is something that’s harder and harder to find in a dense urban environment of East County,” Porter said.

There are many ways to observe Earth Day. Here’s a short list of things to do locally ranging from learning about the power of a garden to heal to cleaning up a community park to recycling your old junk.

Legacy Mount Hood’s healing gardens

11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, at The Healing Garden at Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center, 24800 S.E. Stark St., Gresham

Legacy Mount Hood’s healing gardens are intended to promote health and well-being by offering a place to reduce stress and provide an opportunity to relax and restore. The gardens also highlight the importance of native plant varieties and the value of trees to communities.

Those who attend may bring a lunch to eat in the garden. No registration and no cost is required.

For more information, email Teresia Hazen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 503-413-6507.

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: CARI HACHMANN - Legacy Mount Hoods healing gardens provide a peaceful environments for patients and visitors. An educational event will take place in the garden Tuesday, April 15.

Pleasant Valley ‘Shovel Prune’ plant and seed swap

10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 19, at Pleasant Valley Grade School, 17625 S.E. Foster Road, Gresham

Rain or shine, gardeners will gather to share and exchange seeds, plants and knowledge. If you have extra plants or seeds, label them with plant names and descriptions and bring them to trade. There will be no sales at this tailgate event, just trades and freebies.

Don’t have anything to trade? “Cookies and chocolate work like money at the Shovel Prune!” said Duane Werner, the swap’s organizer.

The site offers plenty of parking, and a small breezeway area with restrooms. The main parking lot is on Richey Road just north of Foster.

For more information, contact Duane Werner at 503-784-4528 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Fairview SOLVE Litter Clean-up

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 26, in Fairview Woods Wetlands City Park at 460 Bridge St., Fairview

Celebrate Earth Day by helping to clear invasive species and clean up litter to help keep the park beautiful. A volunteer meeting place will be located at the entrance of the park on Bridge Street. Coffee and pastries will be provided. Street parking is available on Bridge Street, but space is limited, so please try to carpool.

Ready to Recycle: Gresham’s Earth Day Collection

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 19, city of Gresham, 1333 N.W. Eastman Parkway

The city of Gresham is hosting its 13th annual Earth Day Collection Event, offering Gresham and Wood Village residents the opportunity to recycle common yet difficult to recycle items, such as block Styrofoam, non-curbside plastics, rigid plastics, fluorescent tube lights, batteries and cell phones.

Collection Items

- Rigid plastics/clean plastic bags (not accepted in curbside recycling)

- Styrofoam

- Paper shredding (two boxes per household)

- Fluorescent tubes and lights

- Cell phones

- Batteries (3-pound limit per household)

The city does not accept electronics or hazardous waste at the Earth Day recycling event.

The city is in need of volunteers to work one of two shifts: 8 to 11:45 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tasks may include directing traffic, passing out fliers, unloading materials from cars and sorting materials. Tasks involve walking, standing, bending or lifting up to 30 pounds.

For more  information about the Earth Day recycling event, call Cherie Ludwig at 503-618-2518  or visit http://www.greshamoregon.gov/live/earth-day/.

Portland Earth Day celebration

10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, April 26, at Kenton Park, 8417 N. Brandon Ave., Portland

Every year, Portland’s community-organized Earth Day celebration brings more than 4,000 people to a different community in the city to promote awareness of environmental issues.

This year the event will be held at Kenton Park in North Portland, and the theme is “Reverse Migration.”

The volunteer-run event will feature two stages of live music and entertainment, a health and wellness village, kids’ village and parade, Soapbox Speakers, sustainable businesses and organizations, and Earth Day cleanup opportunities in Kenton.

For more information, visit http://earthdaypdx.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/earthdaypdx.



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