Join Us In Tending To Planet Earth
In April, you will likely see many images of planet Earth, as we celebrate Earth Day. The Blue Marble image taken by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft in 1972 is one of the most reproduced images in history. Not only is it an awe-inspiring reflection of our shared humanity, but it’s also a useful tool for understanding the vegetation in the world’s macro-garden.
NASA’s more recent series of images are taken by Suomi NPP, a research satellite. With satellites across the globe, scientists are working together to monitor the Earth’s vegetation, which is the primary energy source for nearly all life on the planet. Using these images, scientists can see that 1/3 of land cover of Canada and Alaska changed from 1985 to 2021, they can measure the health of plants, and they can quantify the impact of changing ecosystems.
One of the great privileges of working at a botanic garden is the incredible, global collaboration with other botanic gardens that share a similar view of our interconnected world. The Houston Botanic Garden has begun participating in some of these international efforts to understand and care for the Earth. For example, the Global Conservation Consortium for Oak is a macro-collection of oaks, North America’s most powerful native tree, including species from across the world.
So, when you see one of these beautiful photos of our planet Earth, I hope you’ll be reminded that we are all working together – in our home gardens, at the Houston Botanic Garden – as we dig, plant, propagate, and prune in the global garden of our sacred world. Happy Earth Day!
Claudia Gee Vassar, President & General Counsel
Read the April 2022 e-newsletter for more, including Horticulture Help with some eco-friendly practices to incorporate into your gardening routine; one mom’s thoughts on the benefits of BotaniCamp; a profile of urban agriculture teacher and Garden member Angela Roth; and details on a global Quercus conservation project in which the Garden is participating.