Eugene Weekly : Coverstory : 4.22.2010



Nothing says “Earth Day” like a naked garden gnome, but it’s not magical garden gnomes that do the hard, dirty work of restoration. Earth Day rolls around once a year. In Lane County, efforts to go natural happen every day. Some groups do it in the nude, others wear uniforms, but for the folks of the Glassbar Island (Nude Beach) Volunteers, the people at Eugene Parks and Recreation, the staff and volunteers of McKenzie River Trust and everyone else around here who puts in their time and effort outside, it’s worth getting down and dirty to restore lands and waterways to their natural states.

Every day around Eugene, volunteers pull invasive weeds, plant native trees and do their part to bring back our natural areas. These restoration projects sometimes go a little underappreciated, but EW is taking Earth Day as an opportunity to recognize Lane County’s efforts to go natural. 

Earth Day started in 1970 as a teach-in. It was founded by Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson, but took off because of the grassroots-level response. Though Nelson originally targeted Earth Day towards universities — taking the teach-in model from the anti-war movement — the K-12 kids and their teachers saw no reason to be left out. The National Education Association estimated that 10 million students took part in that first Earth Day’s events.

Earth Day events across Lane County go from April 22 though the weekend, and there’s an event for everyone, kids to adults. Check them out in our Calendar section, choose one, and go out and get back to nature.

With all the restoration projects from the coast to the mountains and groups from Walama Restoration to the various watershed councils, EW couldn’t fit every single one in this issue. Drop us a note at, and let us know about other efforts to restore native species in Lane County that shouldn’t be left uncovered.


Let it Flow Restoring Green Island

Prickly Project Wrestling thorn vines in the nude t’aint for sissies

Make Way for Turtles Can kids get the UO to help the Millrace?

Maintaining a Beautiful Butte The key is to stay on the trail




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