April 22 marked the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day in 1970 — the same year President Richard Nixon, R, and Congress established the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), one of the most successful arms of government — ever. Until the last several years the EPA oversaw four decades of improving air, soil, and water through carefully considered regulation, law, cooperation with state governments, partnership with advocacy organizations, and support of citizens.

During Earth Day 2020, most people of the world were sheltering in place. For many, this scary time has allowed them to rediscover nature, “a saving grace.” A reader emailed this sentiment: “If life as we’ve known it has changed, then I want to be in nature.” One of the reassurances spring brings is the pre-dawn songs and calls of birds. Waken to these sounds, and they can push worry away before they claim space in mind and heart this new day.

Bonnie Portzline is a member of South Mountain Audubon Society. She shares slideshows of her birding photography from Adams County under the title, “Birds With A Gettysburg Address.” SMAS@SouthMountainAudubon.org.

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