Can You Dig It? Earth Day 2020

50 years of Earth Day: Poetry Coalition of San Luis Obispo

The days leading up to 4/22/2020
75 Days of Pen in Action

Organizer: Mary Uebersax

Update: May 3, 2020

Submissions are now closed. Thank you! Now we begin to lay out the journal, and will be emailing all participants with any next steps.

Update: April 14, 2020

We are now extending submissions till Thursday, April 30. Thank you for everyone who has submitted, and we look forward to reading your work!

Update for End of March 2020

County officials have issued a mandatory ‘shelter at home’ order effective 5pm March 19 which also happens to be the first day of Spring. In the alert, Emergency Services Director Wade Horton has included a cautionary remark that “everyone is free to leave home to exercise — go walking, running, hiking or biking — as long as it’s not a group sport.”

The recent withdrawal of social, work and educational society and now everyday commerce and entertainment presents an opportunity to connect to nature and natural resources. The CAN YOU DIG IT Earth Day Poetry Initiative is in place to help you process using artistic expression you and your children’s thoughts and perspectives about “STEWARDSHIP OF THE EARTH.”

We have reviewed some of the ecological, recreational and open spaces opportunities that are available to all ability levels. Many locations have an overlook, parking and benches for reflection and writing. Now is a a time when we can include space to think, merge with nature and use artistic expression to connect to our planet.

Please feel a part of GreenWaveSLO and connect to the Poetry Initiative recognizing the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. Contributing a poem to a 2020 Earth Day Poetry Journal will be a true time capsule worth noting.

Daily Writing Prompts

Allow yourself time to write. Begin when you can and keep the momentum each day. Write for 10-20 minutes and see what transpires, If you find a poem within or even a stunning line you would like to share on our poetry journal submit it via the form below.

Keep writing and allow the process to help you identify what you feel about Earth Day and your way of honoring the abundances and challenges. Words Have Power so enjoy the exploration.

1. Sky *Land *Sea *Air
2. Endangered Species
3. Open Spaces
4. Dear Earth:
5. Inner and Outer Ecology
6. The Earth is Round
7. Koyaanisqatsi
8. Rainforest
9. 50 Years of Progress
10. Human Nature

11. Its Organic
12. Feed the World
13. Priorities and Purpose
14. Silent Spring
15. Polar Opposites
16. Bees
17. I’m Melting
18. Golden Grain
19. El Sol
20. Acid Rain

21. Tears
22. Plastic bottles
23. Drought
24. Purple Mountains
25. La Luna
26. Next Seven Generations
27. Stewardship
28. Seeds
29. If Elected
30. Recycle

Visit Nature

Visit venues of interest for all levels and ages: (these include benches, parking, trash pickup and great vistas, and signage with information on flora and fauna). If you can use Google and search Parks you’ll find directions, amenities and any times or restrictions. Some peaceful places to write which we have found include the following. And please, take special measures to pack-in and pack out and if possible leave the spaces better than you found them.

San Luis Obispo:

  • Laguna Lake
  • Chorro Regional Park: (SLO Botanical Garden
  • Childrens Garden
  • Oak Grove and AIDS Memorial Trail
  • Jack Creek House
  • Bob Jones Trail

Santa Margarita:

  • Santa Margarita Lake Recreation and Natural Area
  • Santa Margarita Park

Pismo Beach/Oceano/Shell Beach:

  • Dinosaur Caves Cliff Walking Path
  • Spindrift Park
  • Ebb Tide Park
  • Florin and Topaz Ocean Overlook
  • Pismo Preserve
  • Lighthouse/Pecho Coast Trail

Los Osos/Baywood/Morro Bay:

  • Montana De Oro
  • Monterey Bay Santcuary Scenic Trail
  • Audobon Sweet Springs Nature Preserve
  • Audubon Lookout
  • Elfin Forest


  • Estero Bluffs
  • Harmony Headlands Park
  • Harmony Succulent Garden


  • Fiscalini Ranch Preseve
  • Strawberry Canyon Green Space
  • MoonStone Beach Park
  • Leffingwell Landing State Park
  • Shamel Park
  • William Randolph Hearst State Park.

Paso Robles

  • Larry Moore
  • Salinas Riverwalk
  • Turtle Creek Park

San Miguel

  • San Miguel Park
  • Archangel Miguel Mission Gardens
  • Rios Caledonia Adobe Native Plant Garden


  • Atascadero Lake Park
  • Paloma Park
  • Las Lomas Woodland Park
  • Three Bridge Blue Oak Preserve
  • Juan Bautista De Anza Trail
  • Stadium Park (Marj Mackey Trail and Bill Shepard Native Plant Garden)

Most parks with check kiosk, etc are subject to “day-by-day” restrictions or closures. We recommend you call, visit their websites before venturing out for your Poetry plein-(pen)-air adventure.

50th Anniversary Earth Day Poetry Initiative

About: Express Yourself

We are all Earth Angels! April 2020 brings about a timely collaboration among Gaia and her stewards and the incredible power of poetry.

The outreach will involve several poets, school programs, nature preserves and students through March 2020 including Plein Air Writing with ecological writing prompts. And, participants can submit poetry for an Earth Day Poetry Contest.

In April we will link with National Poetry Month Events to include the contributions at scheduled readings. Selected poems and prose will be published here at

Other physical events will include:

  • Poetry Share in schools and local nature meet-ups
  • Earth Day inspired Poetry and Prose recited during April Fair at Cuesta College
  • if&when Volume 5: Can You Dig It, an Earth Day 50th Anniversary Poetry Journal

Supporting organizations will provide prizes and support publication of poetry to inspire Nature and the Arts.

Submissions - Closed as of May 1, 2020

We are accepting previously unpublished submissions till April 30 in four categories: short creative nonfiction, short fiction, poetry, and literary lines.

  • Short creative nonfiction and short fiction must be no longer than 1500 words. Please submit up to 3 pieces.
  • Poetry may be no more than 50 lines. Please submit up to 5 poems.
  • For your best literary line, we accept 1-2 original sentences (one line max) that you’ve just been aching to use in a poem or story but have never found the right project. Please submit up to 5 individual literary lines.

Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but let us know immediately if the work is accepted elsewhere.

More information

We are celebrating with our partners:

  • ArtsObispo
  • The Earth Day Network
  • if&when
  • EarthTones Gifts & Gallery
  • Bliss Cafe

Also in collaboration with:

  • Morro Coast Audubon Society
  • Land Conservancy San Luis Obispo
  • CNPS-SLO (California Native Plant Society-SLO)