A Wonderful Creation!

Treasures of Heaven and Eagle’s NEST Partner

Treasures of Heaven Bible Club - Group Photo - October 2014

For two afternoons in October longtime afterschool ministry Treasures of Heaven Bible Club and the new non-profit ministry Eagle’s NEST US partnered to educate and inspire the children from Washington Elementary School who attend Treasures on the creation story – God’s creation of the air, water, continents, plants and animals - and ways that they, even as children, can help care for God’s creation.

Leader Barbara Fulmer and the many volunteers of Treasures of Heaven from First Pres and Visalia NAZ have continued to provide a safe, loving environment where 50 to 60 largely underprivileged school children are learning about God’s love on Wednesday afternoons during the school year.

During those two October Wednesday’s, Todd Slinde of Eagle’s NEST prepared and delivered a lesson to the children (1st-6th grades) on God’s creation and His special care for each of those children individually. With a theme from 1 John 4:19, (We love each other because God first loved us) the students also learned about the importance of caring for each other by caring for God’s wonderful creation in eight easy ways. Ways that they could actually practice and have an impact in their own environment.

  1. Conserve water
  2. Don’t litter
  3. Pick up trash
  4. Recycle
  5. Use less plastic
  6. Use cloth shopping bags
  7. Turn off lights, computers and TV’s
  8. Help others to learn to do the same

The message came through loud and clear for these students as a week later they could still recall the practical acts of care that they could take. Some things they wrote the following week in their thank you cards to Todd were: “Thank you for teaching me about God and the earth”. “Teaching us how to save water”. “Thank you for teaching me to turn off the lights, pick up trash and recycling”. “I love picking up trash, I love not wasting water”. “Thank you for teaching us about animals and nature”.

But the biggest “thank you” of all should go to the Treasures of Heaven volunteers doing such great work, week after week. And “thank you” to those same volunteers for living out the message in 1 John 4:19 – Treasures of Heaven volunteers certainly love those Washington School kids, because God first loved them.

A Collective Yawn

Recently I gathered all my energy, experiences and efforts to start a faith based environmental and conservation nonprofit group called Eagle’s NEST US. I did this because I felt that we as individuals and communities were not always taking the idea of stewardship of God’s creation as seriously as we should. There was much more we could learn and much more we could do. In a two-fold vision strategy, I set out to work with both faith and non-faith focused individuals and organizations.

Since Eagle’s NEST’s beginning, there have been many encouraging words and actions from faithful people. Yet, I have also found that there seems to be quite a bit of apathy from many in the faith community in regards to caring for God’s creation. On a recent, somewhat discouraging, day after sharing the “creation care” message with a group of really wonderful people, some nodded their heads up and down, mostly for the sake of politeness, but there was little else. Shortly thereafter, I was speaking with someone and lamenting about this seemingly polite apathy, he responded in agreement, “Yeah, sometimes it’s like they just don’t care”.  I find the current state of apathy disheartening, because if anyone should care about God’s gifts to us, the natural world and its resources, it should be His followers. (Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind … Psalm 107:8)

Fortunately, there are many people of faith who do truly care, and we need to keep reminding ourselves of that … and to be encouraged because of the main reason why we MUST care. It is because God calls us to care. He called us to be caretakers, protectors of what He has given us. Caretakers for our future generations. (Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. Genesis 2:15)

Very soon though, I was reminded once again of why we must care, in a vivid and vital way. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) had just put out their most recent Living Planet Report., a report that is one of the most extensive and accurate studies and calculations of the world’s wildlife populations - the over 3,000 species that occupy it. The WWF report states that between 1970 and 2010 – only a 40 year stretch of time – the world’s populations of wildlife (fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles) declined by over 50%. This was a stunning revelation, yet what have we heard in the days since? Basically a collective yawn, and yawns are usually silent. Not only are yawns silent, but yawns exhibit a lack of activity and, when noticed, they are embarrassing for us.

The Living Planet Report further states that human demands, on wildlife and other natural resources, are now 50% more than nature can sustain. In other words, humans need one and a half earths to meet their current demands. Wild lands are being stripped and felled, groundwater is being pumped to levels of severe deficiency and carbon dioxide being emitted at record levels – all at more rapid rates than the earth can sustain.

Below is some important data from the WWF report.

Wildlife Population Decline by Category:

  • Overall species population loss – 52%
  • Freshwater species population loss – 76%
  • Terrestrial species population loss – 39%
  • Marine species population loss – 39%

Main Threats to Wildlife Species:

  • Degradation, Change in, or Loss in Habitat – 44.8%
  • Exploitation – 37%
  • Climate Change – 7.1%
  • Invasive Species – 5.1%
  • Pollution – 4%
  • Disease – 2%

The Director of Science at the Zoological Society of London cautions, “The damage is not inevitable but a consequence of the way we choose to live”.

So, we should care, Eagle’s NEST cares! Eagle’s NEST has a mission of providing quality creation education leading to better environmental integrity and conservation. This week was a vivid reminder to me of the reason for our mission.

WWF International Director, General Marco Lambertini put out this warning, “There is no room for complacency”. Or, I might add, “Yawns”.

Over 50% in 40 years … during OUR lifetime. Here’s a little bit of etiquette advice, “We might want to cover our mouths as we yawn, future generations are watching us”.



NBC News – World has lost half its wildlife in the past 40 years: WWF (9/30/2014)

ABC News – Wildlife populations plummet for 3,000 species (9/30/2014)

CNN – WWF: World has lost more than half its wildlife in 40 years (9/30/2014)

A Poem In Honor of My Former Co-workers... My North Star Brothers and Sisters!

The North Stars

By Todd Slinde

Eons ago, high and wide, in a far northern sky
With gaze and wonder, many asked how and why?
A constellation of stars had gathered in the north
Could so much illumination be brough forth?

This constellation, brilliant in its luster
Energy and light put forth, all they could muster
They showed the world how to brightly shine
As a group brilliant, individuals intense and fine

Some have since burned out, sadly faded away
Others still shine bright, like that very first day
We remember with joy, the good and faithful friends
We'll soon forget the tragic sad ends

This constellation, beaming as if they were one
Ages of radiant legacy before they were done
We know this was genuine and oh very real
We know this in our hearts, because that is how we feel

Eco Action Advice: Water Conservation - Mulching!

Spring is here … the calendar says so, as well as the weather. Many are now out working in their yards and gardens. Here is some great and important advice about saving water in the landscape or garden. Simply apply a layer of mulch to the bare ground around your plants. A good mulch is an organic compost and a little bit on the courser side. Community and political leaders in many western states are asking their residents to conserve water this year. California’s Governor has asked ALL residents to reduce their water consumption and usage by 20%. Depending on the circumstance, a two to three inch layer of a quality organic composted mulch can actually save 20% to 70% of the water applied to the landscape. This is due to less water evaporation from the soil.

Benefits of mulching:

  • Adds beauty to the landscape - as opposed to bare ground.
  • Adds organics nutrients to the plants and the soil – the organic benefits will filter down into the soil profile.
  • Inhibits weed seed growth – a thick layer of mulch will reduce the germination of weed seeds reducing labor later in the season and the need for spraying chemical weed killers.
  • Acts as an insulating blanket for the soil – protecting the plants roots from excessive heat during the summer months and excessive cold during the winter months.
  • Saves water – as stated above – Less water, less often!

When shopping for an organic mulch, the following are all great choices:

  • Kellogg Gromulch or Kellogg N’RICH
  • G&B Organics Soil Building Compost
  • Master Nursery Black Forest

Visit www.KelloggGarden.com to learn more about these products.

Take action to save water – MULCH NOW!