When I was sixteen I pulled out into oncoming traffic. I called my parents, terrified. The car was totaled. I expected them to be upset. Instead, my mother prepared a feast that night with my favorite dishes. She said, and I will never forget it, “When times are most challenging is the best time to celebrate. Because it’s then when we need to appreciate what is most important.”

As I head to Bandera to be with my family, and my Earth Day ATX family is on the way to theirs, I keep thinking of that evening. The table was beautiful. And so was my mother.

The last few weeks have been enormously challenging for most in the Austin environmental community. Coming changes bring deep concern. But they also bring urgency and a relevance of our work that perhaps we took for granted to some degree–and an increased importance in supporting each other.

When I think about the wealth of leaders and environmental organizations and companies here in town, and all the great work being done, I am deeply grateful for all of it. And I speak for the whole Earth Day team when I say that we are also thankful for the opportunity to provide a platform, a venue for all of that good work. We are blessed to be able to offer the Green Room free to environmentally focused groups and to come together with so many other organizations to host the 9th Annual Austin Green Holiday Party.

And as for Earth Day ATX 2017, it will be extraordinary because of all of you. Thanks Austin for giving us something great to celebrate this Thanksgiving.

Love, The Earth Day Team