Special Earth Day quotes, lyrics and passages by Alabamians

Earth Day Alabamians

Below is a special Earth Day weekend treat from Bham Now – passages, lyrics and quotes from Alabamians about Alabama’s precious forests, rivers, streams, lakes, wildlife, biodiversity and people.


“So let’s leave some blue up above us. Let’s leave some green on the ground. It’s only ours to borrow, let’s save some for tomorrow. Leave it and pass it on down” ~ Chorus to “Pass It On Down” by the country music group Alabama 

“Part of the problem we have in our society, particularly in urban centers, is that we don’t lose ourselves to what is natural. In our rush to progress technologically and to grow economically, we sometimes forget about the things that give people a sense of fulfillment and happiness. People have busy lives and difficult priorities- raising families, educating their children, trying hard to get ahead. But it shouldn’t be an either/or choice when it comes to protecting wilderness. We must be willing to move beyond our selves and our problems and consider the larger impact of our actions and legacy we leave for our children. If we don’t, we will lose part of our humanity we can’t replace.” ~ Troy, Alabama native and civil rights leader Congressman John Lewis 

Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge
Photo by George Lee

“Trees are like music. It’s fun and soothes the soul to play an instrument alone and express oneself. Many an hour, I’ve poured out my emotions on the piano instead of on a psychiatrist’s couch. But it’s a lot of fun to share the tune, to take the sounds from others–to be surprised by the richness of each other’s sound– musical heritages blending together, if you will. Each instrument so different, but all so important to the song.

… Each tree– each forest — has its own song and we must listen. And while we are listening and unraveling the mysteries and gifts of the trees, we should always take a monent to sit under a tree, look up and be thankful.” ~ Chuck Leavell, Birmingham native, conservationist and pianist for the Rolling Stones.

I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in. ~ Tuskegee University’s and national treasure George Washington Carver

Earth Day quotes
Bust of George Washington Carver at Tuskegee University

Look closely at nature. Every species is a masterpiece, exquisitely adapted to the particular environment in which it has survived. Who are we to destroy or even diminish biodiversity. ~ Alabamian E.O. Wilson

Birmingham Alabama
Portrait of E.O. Wilson

“You’ll never miss the water ’til the well runs dry.” ~“Father of the Blues” Alabamian W.C. Handy

“To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug.”  ~Helen Keller

Tuscumbia Alabama
Helen Keller’s well-pump at Ivy Green in Tuscumbia

“… Praise Thee, wondrous God for the blessed watershed that is Alabama, pliant to man’s needs, gracious to his questing spirit. May her sons and daughters not forget Thy bounty, nor fail to deserve Thy benediction through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen” ~ From the state of Alabama Prayer at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC

Alabama Seal
National Cathedral at night in Washington DC


Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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