Earth Day Oregon reaches rural Lane County


Editor’s note: David Gardiepy is the executive director of EcoGeneration, which is mentioned in this article.

Oregon nonprofit organizations are leaders in the state when it comes to actionable change and bringing forward a healthier environment. Many private sector businesses in the state have recognized that they can have a crucial role to play, too.

As the United Nations made clear in the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals, creating a sustainable world requires intersecting work on all fronts. A sustainable world requires cooperation, and Earth Day Oregon (EDO) is working to inspire that cooperation and collaboration in Oregon between nonprofits and businesses alike. Earth Day Oregon is working to promote the UN Sustainable Development Goal of to improve and increase Partnerships Towards the UN’s sustainability goals.

EDO is a rapidly growing annual effort that brings attention and donations to nonprofits across Oregon by fostering and promoting lasting partnerships with local businesses leading up to Earth Day. Since it started in 2019, EDO has facilitated more than $360,000 in donations to nonprofits that work year-round to protect the planet.

EDO is working with more than 70 statewide nonprofits. In rural Lane County, Earth Day Oregon has teamed up with organizations EcoGeneration, Friends of Fall Creek Watershed, and McKenzie River Trust this year.

Earth Day Oregon provides nonprofits with several tools that can assist in the Earth Day fundraising drive that include marketing guidance, outreach and donor solicitation tools, as well as providing a platform for the nonprofits to attract statewide attention for their sponsors, Earth Day events, nonprofit’s actions, and the work each one has taken to advance any number of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

“Earth Day Oregon’s Nonprofit Partners are collectively making a critical impact to change our world for the better,” said Kelly Stevens, Earth Day Oregon Executive Director. “Whether they are working to provide affordable alternative energy, bring about racial justice, end poverty, or protect ecosystems, these organizations represent a wide diversity of missions and locations across our state. Our hope is that every Oregonian can use our campaign to find and support a nonprofit that is working to create a more just, livable, and sustainable world.”

Rural Lane County groups are addressing environmental issues on several fronts.

Cottage Grove nonprofit EcoGeneration, for instance, works to amplify several United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The main goals that they are focusing on include access to clean water and sanitation, life under the sea, life above land, climate action, and responsible consumption and production.

By focusing on waste, EcoGeneration’s work contributes towards improving the reuse and recycling of resources in order to ensure that there are resources for future generations. EcoGeneration’s Earth Day event is the organization’s first litter pickup since the onset of the pandemic.

In addition, EcoGeneration’s call to action includes an opportunity to match funds from Yogi Tea up to $2,500. Additional sponsors of EcoGeneration’s activities include the Cottage Grove UPS Store, The Medication Station, and Emily Quindry – an independent Arbonne Representative.

Friends of Fall Creek Watershed have been amplifying the UN Sustainable Development Goals that focus on life on land and life under the sea. Through litter pickups and watershed restoration, the Friends of Fall Creek Watershed remove dumped waste and litter from the river and adjacent lands to ensure that future generations can enjoy the beauty of Oregon and have access to clean water and lands.

Additional sustainability approaches include clean water and sanitation, climate action, and creating partnerships to achieve common goals.

Friends of Fall Creek Watershed’s Earth Day event consists of a multiday litter clean up starting at the Middle Ranger Station.

Those wanting to attend need to RSVP either to Jen via email at [email protected] or Steve via email at [email protected] A few business partners for Earth Day Oregon include Planktown, Hilltop and Off the Waffle. A complete list of sponsors can be found on Friends of Fall Creek Watershed’s website: fofcw.org.

McKenzie River Trust also works to advance life above land, life undersea, and climate action. At the time of writing, there are no Earth Day specific events, with the exception of their calls to action. The call to action consists of various fundraisers in Eugene, focused on raising funds presumably for all of McKenzie River Trust’s programs. McKenzie River Trust is teamed up with Wild Birds Unlimited, Mama’s Hot Wings, and Oakshire Brewery, to name a few. All of McKenzie River Trust’s call to actions are available via their Facebook page.

For those who work with a nonprofit that would like to participate in this effort with Earth Day Oregon for 2023, email Kelly Stevens at [email protected]

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