This Earth Day, The Nature Conservancy is encouraging anyone who favors sustainably grown food—the kind that is grown with consideration for the Earth—to join a picnic in support of the planet that provides the food they eat. As the world’s largest environmental non-profit, The Nature Conservancy is working hand in hand with the world’s food growers, from large companies to local farmers, to double the amount of food grown, use freshwater more efficiently and ensure less food goes to waste.
“Picnics with fresh, sustainable foods are a great way to celebrate Earth Day,” said Michael Lipford, director of The Nature Conservancy’s Virginia chapter. “Eating homegrown vegetables is good for the planet and good for your health, and it’s a great way to connect your children with nature.”
The third annual Picnic for the Earth is part of The Nature Conservancy’s global All Hands on Earth campaign and aims to unite people around the world. Picnic for the Earth is an opportunity for food lovers to be part of the solution by buying sustainably produced food and sharing their passion. Groups throughout Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia are joining the movement of millions and have already started marking The Nature Conservancy’s online picnic map to show where they will be celebrating.
Participants who do not have a scheduled event in their area can host their own picnic—gathering friends, packing a sustainable lunch, and sharing their bounty with others on Twitter via the hashtag #AllHandsPicnic, posting a picture to Instagram, posting on The Nature Conservancy’s Facebook wall or simply visiting The Nature Conservancy’s Earth Day site. The Nature Conservancy’s preserves in both Maryland and Virginia could serve as beautiful backdrops to a picnic. Earth Day is Monday, April 22.
The Nature Conservancy’s Maryland and Virginia chapters are leading numerous projects involving food and agriculture. Both chapters are restoring oysters in the Chesapeake Bay. The Virginia chapter leads the largest seagrass restoration project at the Virginia Coastal Reserve to create nursery habitat for blue crabs, fish and shellfish that are common seafood favorites. The Maryland chapter is working to secure land conservation funding for the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation to buy easements on farms to keep them in agriculture and protects working farms through the Maryland Rural Legacy Program.
“Sustainable agriculture provides locally grown crops that reduce the energy footprint compared to imported food and grain, maintains open space and habitat and connects people to the land,” said Steve Bunker, acting director of The Nature Conservancy’s Maryland Chapter. “In addition to actively defending funding for the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation, we work with the farm community to reduce impacts from agriculture on water quality and wildlife habitat.”
The Nature Conservancy's All Hands on Earth campaign is the first-ever sustainable global campaign designed to deeply engage people across the world in a conversation about today’s urgent environmental challenges. This movement was built to support The Nature Conservancy’s efforts to save land and water resources by asking people the question: What Will You Do For Earth? Through the All Hands on Earth campaign, The Nature Conservancy hopes to raise $20 million and inspire 20 million actions for Earth.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
Lindsay Renick Mayer
(301-897-8570), ext. 224