Several contributors supplied additional thoughts on their work; for your convenience, their bio is also repeated here.
Mary Budkowski (cover, ‘Fearless Flying From A Bird’s Eye View — Migrating South‘)
“I see creativity as a vital process, inherent in many aspects of life, and creating beauty through art is a passion that I continue to pursue and share. Over the years my main interests have been in drawing, primarily focusing on renderings from life or free form sketches from my imagination.”
Mary studied art, art history, and philosophy at Georgian Court College, then worked as a graphic designer and did some portrait drawings, as well as free-lance work. Most recent displays include ‘Perspectives: Art in the Environment’ shows at Nurture Nature Center (2017, 2018, and 2020), at St. John‘s Evangelical Lutheran Church, and at Terra Café .
Paige Capone (‘Environmental Neglect’)
Paige is a student at the Lehigh Valley Charter School for the Arts.
Robert Christopher (‘The Gathering’)
“This short story is based on a color pencil drawing I did in 2016. People of all ages can understand its message of cooperation. From life as small as an atom to as grand as the universe itself, life works together as one unified organism, a complex yet simple process. The Tree represents unity, attracting all to it and each benefits from the other, an invisible Eden of sorts. In essence, all life exists to sustain each and every element in the web of creation; with the disintegration of even one delicate part, the circle of life dissolves itself, slowly but surely.”
Robert is currently the City Forester for Easton and has been a resident of the Lehigh Valley since 1979. A lifetime advocate for nature, he has a degree in Environmental Design, is a certified Arborist, Forest Steward, and a board member for a local non-profit rooted in the culture of Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island.
Elaheh is an Iranian immigrant and writer who dreams of and fights for a society that places people’s needs and wellbeing before profits. She is occasionally nostalgic for her childhood in Iran, but focuses her energy on connecting with her community, family, and friends.
Ed Gallagher (‘Turning the Earth’)
Edward J. Gallagher is a retired Lehigh University professor of American literature whose small backyard is his Walden Pond.
Dick Lane (‘What is Bioregional Regeneration?’)
Dick is Co-Director of Stonehedge Holistic Learning Center near Tamaqua and was the founding President of Stonehedge Gardens, the non-profit that developed holistic programming there since 1998. Dick has several decades of prior work in Human Services and is an advocate of permaculture, natural building, land preservation, and bioregional regeneration. He is also the author of three novellas and is an amateur poet.
Allison Ludlow (‘Renewing our Relationship With Food’)
“Education and awareness are key factors in combating the climate crisis; the challenge is to help others understand the weight their actions have.…I try to help those around me understand the impact of their choices, especially regarding their diet.”
Allison is a junior at Moravian University, where she is studying Environmental Science and Journalism.
Lindsay Meiman (‘Climate Action — A Winning Strategy for Higher Ed.’)
Lindsay Meiman (she/her) is a writer, activist, and climate communicator. She graduated from Lehigh University in 2014, where she studied Economics and Environmental Studies. Lindsay interned with the Alliance to pass the Bethlehem Area School District’s first-ever Climate and Sustainability Commitment. She currently serves as the Media Director for Stand.earth’s Climate Finance Program, after seven years on 350.org’s Global Communications Team. Lindsay works on Indigenous Munsee Lenape land (New York City) where she lives with her partner Blake and dog Penny.
Deirdre is a contemporary visual artist who investigates the intersection between art and science via the lens of biomorphic patterns, data visualization, and climate change. Through of painting, printmaking, and collaborative sculpture, she has explored the effects of climate change on avian migration, nesting structures, and ecosystems. Her research has led to collaborations with scientists in many fields. She has exhibited internationally and extensively in United States museums and galleries; including “Risky Beauty: Aesthetics & Climate Change”, currently at Nurture Nature Center.
Dierdre earned an MFA from University of Pennsylvania and a BFA from Kansas City Art Institute. Murphy teaches painting, printmaking and art based climate change courses at Lehigh University. More of her work can be found at www.deirdremurphyart.com
Olivia Barz Pickell (‘We Endure’)
This essay relates my experience with the struggle of motherhood and wanting to be as sustainable as possible. Even with the best intentions, we sometimes have to limit ourselves to what we are truly capable of. We all have a part to play in creating a sustainable future, and we need to do our best, supporting each other when we fall short.
Olivia grew up in the Lehigh Valley, studied Environmental Science at Lehigh University, then went on to get a Masters in Environmental Policy at Lehigh as well. I completed several internships with the Alliance, focused around sustainability impact assessments.
Gabriela Sampaio (‘We Need to Stop Plastic Consumption‘)
Gabriela Sampaio is a student at Northampton Community College. She wants to impact the community and achieve long-term outcomes for a more conscious society. Gabriela is an international student, and when she finishes at NCC she plans to return to Brazil and complete her degree in Materials Engineering there.
Maya Santos (‘Prey’)
“‘Prey’ sheds a necessary light on situations that women are forced to experience in their day-to-day lives. Whether it be on the sidewalk, in the workplace, or even at home, women have been marginalized, sexualized, and scrutinized by society for hundreds of years. This misogynistic undervaluing and underappreciation of women…. Harassment of women is an incredibly personal experience, and yet it is also devastatingly universal. By highlighting just one form of harassment that women experience daily — catcalling — I hope that I can raise awareness to situations that not only put women in uncomfortable positions, but also express the dangers women face as well.”
Maya is currently an English and Education major at Moravian University who grew up part of the Lehigh Valley community.
Everet Smith (‘The Next Generation’)
“This poem was born from a blend of fury and helplessness. So much has to be done to save our Earth, but so many of our ancient government officials get in the way of any effort to help our circumstances. They’ll be dead when the consequences of their actions ensue, while younger generations have to suffer. It’s unfair, especially seeing how many people actually want to help save the environment. I wrote this poem because I wanted to speak out about this issue, and I hope that readers can relate to the themes of the poem and know they are not alone in their anger.”
Everet is a sophomore at the Lehigh Valley Charter School for the Arts, where she majors in literary arts. She is 16 years old and enjoys all things writing.
Cecelia Tabor (‘Three Birds’ & ‘Falling’)
“Birds symbolize transformation and new beginnings. In literature, they are often guiding forces to the unknown, connecting the hero to the mystical qualities of nature. Today, as people capture and kill these creatures, we are not only severing our ties with animal life, but symbolically destroying a deep connection with the natural world.”
By showing the broken beings in the prints, I aim to illustrate a fragmented relationship between humanity and the environment. While my work is dark and haunting, it shows the importance of respecting nature and its inhabitants. Nature is a strange force with mysteries untold, and it takes a gentle soul, not an executioner, to connect with it.
Gianna Tully (‘Paper Swans’, ,’Our Mother’, & ‘The Earth on My Counter’)
“I believe that these poems all relate to sustainability in their own ways.
“Paper Swans, is a story about a young girl and the swans who disappear from her backyard. I intended this to be a commentary on the destruction that pollution inflicts on wildlife from the point of view of a young girl because she is a relatable character for a wide audience.
“Our Mother is about nature as a symbol for the environment, emphasizing our duty as her children to maintain her. The tone is a bit more desperate to communicate the message that time is running out, and it is our responsibility to take care of the planet, not to be greedy and deplete it.
“The Earth on my Counter is meant to emphasize the intimate relationship between humans and nature as well as breathe an air of hope into the reader. We still have time; we still have the ability; we still have the duty to be better.
Each one of these poems reflects on the relationship between humanity and the planet with varying degrees of possibility for change but all focus on the need for humans to take action with the agenda of sustainability.” “
Gianna is a junior at Moravian University, studying English and Art History. She works on the literary magazine The Manuscript at her school. She has lived in the Lehigh Valley for the majority of her life and is happy to be continuing her education in the area. She is interested in both poetry and short fiction and hopes to share her voice with the world
Bruce Wilson (We Can Reverse Climate Change)
A LEED Accredited Professional, Bruce, has been an educator on green building and climate change since 2004 and is the Valley’s oldest Green Builder, currently celebrating 46 years in business.
- SLV 2023 Table of Contents
- Voices of the Valley – Alphabetic List of Authors
- Sustainable Lehigh Valley booklet