Lots of change with COVID-19


Wow—how quickly our world has changed in just one month. 

Like everyone else, we are adapting to the challenges and risks posed by COVID-19. We’ve shut down our meetings rooms and continue to deep clean our facility. Our staff are working primarily from home, coming into the office only when absolutely necessary and figuring out new ways to stay connected. And we’re developing contingency plans for the next six months to prepare for a likely recession. 

We’re also reimagining and adapting many of our programs to our new reality of social and physical distancing. From our upcoming Earth Day celebration to energy education to ensuring our region’s youth are EarthSmart, we’re getting ready to roll out a variety of fun and engaging virtual learning opportunities. We’ll keep you posted on our website, our Facebook page and via our e-newsletter.

Despite all of the change, much remains the same. Even with the recent cool temperatures and much needed new snow in the mountains, Spring is on its way with longer days and louder birds and the glorious equinox light in late afternoon. Parenting remains a constant challenge, and I still need to practice patience and being less reactive every day. 

Our climate is still warming and the Trump administration is still doing what it can to accelerate it. Just this week US EPA finalized its plan to roll back mileage standards for cars and trucks. The result? More unhealthy air pollution—so sadly ironic in the midst of a health crisis caused by a respiratory infection—and an additional 1.5 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the next five years, the equivalent of 68 coal plants.

What also remains the same is that our work here at The Environmental Center, and at all our partner nonprofits, remains as important as ever. COVID-19 is one more fracture in our world as we know it. 

Our job  is to help put things back together. What are the new patterns that will emerge from today’s chaos? How can we reassemble the pieces into a more just, sustainable and beautiful world? It’s hard to know the answer to these questions today. 

Rest assured, we’ll keep doing our best to meaningfully contribute. We appreciate your continued engagement and support as we move forward.

Two notes…

A shout out to writer Terry Tempest Williams and her book Finding Beauty in a Broken World. She writes about the challenge of putting back together our broken world by learning the art of mosaic, exploring prairie dog colonies and listening to the people rebuilding community in post-genocide Rwanda. If you are looking for some reflective, provocative reading, I recommend it. You can get it on bookshop.org and benefit Dudley’s Bookshop Cafe, Bend’s downtown bookstore. )

If you’re looking for ways to keep connected, get help, and help others during this challenging time, check out our last blog post.