Earth Day. If it’s pinged your radar at all in recent years, it’s probably as ‘just another holiday to remember’. Or ‘one of those conservationist things’ It’s a lot more than that, however- and today Saragossa Game Reserve is taking a good look at this critical milestone in the calendar – and what it means to you and me.
What is Earth Day?
Earth day isn’t just a cool date, or a thing only conservationists should worry about. It’s a day we should all aim to celebrate. It’s the time for us to take a break from our hectic day-to-day, and remember the beautiful planet we call home. There’s also no better time to take a deep breath and remember it’s the only home we have- and how badly the Earth and her plants and animals need a little TLC from us all.
Earth Day is celebrated on the 22 April every year. The date memorializes the day in 1970 when millions of people took to the streets in protest of the damage we are thoughtlessly doing to the planet in our ever-increasingly industrial societies. Concerned about the growing risks of deadly inner-city smog and loss of biodiversity worldwide, a whole movement was born.
What does Earth Day 2019 mean to me?
Earth Day 2019’s theme is ‘protect our species’… and nowhere is that more important than here along the beautiful banks of the Elands River. Take, for example, this delicate beauty. A member of the Mebryanthecae family, it’s more commonly known as the stone berry, and it’s incredibly rare.
This gorgeous succulent is extremely picky about where it grows, and regrettably the same areas it favours are under heavy attack from human activities. Both cultivation and infrastructure development (like roads) threaten it’s limited habitat. What few realise, however, is that the potential loss of plants like these don’t stop merely with the plant itself. The stone berry is highly significant in the local environment, it’s tiny flowers luring the rare Temebryant Jewel beetle to nibble on them. This beautiful iridescent beetle is, in turn, a favourite snack of the ultra-rare Mozambique rain frog.
The cycle of life is irrevocably intertwined. Each of these rare species are dependant on each other, a tiny micro cycle in the broader circle of life. Losing even one of them will have tragic knock-on effects felt throughout the ecosystem that can literally change the face of the Earth forever.
The Earth is our home. The Earth is our very existence. Without the soil beneath our feet and the plants and animals that shape our environment, there can be no life on this planet. So why not join the Saragossa Game Reserve Team today, and spend a few minutes appreciating the vast and beautiful diversity surrounding us each and every day, and the Earth we all call home?