Planting Memories: West Valley’s Earth Day Celebration



By Avi Vieira


As temperatures are starting to creep up in the Valley Of The Sun, in other parts of the country the last dregs of winter are being shaken off and spring weather is just starting . With spring comes a new beginning as flowers and trees burst into a virtual rainbow of blossoms of all shades and colors. West Valley one•n•ten took the opportunity this week to celebrate this year’s Earth Day and the coming of Spring by planting seeds of its own with a favorite annual activity: Spring Planting! Many of our youth have commented that they have been able to track how long they have been involved with one•n•ten based on how many times they have participated in the activity of planting and keeping potted plant alive through the summer, and look forward to it.

Youth were given flower pots, potting soil, and a mix of flower seeds to create their own mini flower garden as their own symbol of spring rebirth.  Youth were encouraged to decorate their pots with stickers, ribbon, glitter, and paint before planting a mix of flower seeds that will not only look beautiful, but attract butterflies and hummingbirds. They were then given the challenge to keep their flowers alive and document it through pictures as they will compete who can keep their plants alive the longest, and will be judged at the end of summer by our staff and volunteers.  It made for a fun way to celebrate springtime and Earth Day with an activity that encouraged creativity in the present sense, and nurturing qualities in the longer term as the youth care for their plants and watch them grow and thrive – not altogether different from what one•n•ten volunteers and staff do with our LGBTQ youth every day in the encouragement of their growth.

The rest of the evening was devoted to social time for the group, because what better way to celebrate springtime than to simply relax and socialize in a safe and positive environment? It kept the mood light, fun, and positive for everyone as we had our own Earth Day celebration and it allowed us to get our hands a little dirty in the process.