15 Inspirational Quotes for Earth Day (or Any Day)

Earth Day is a great time to take action and reflect upon the wonders of nature. Here are some quotes to inspire you on Earth Day and beyond!

"It is an incalculable added pleasure to any one's sum of happiness if he or she grows to know, even slightly and imperfectly, how to read and enjoy the wonder-book of nature." 
Theodore Roosevelt

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter. 

Rachel Carson

"Spring is nature's way of saying, 'Let's Party!" 

— Robin Williams

"My experience with Rocky Mountain Youth Corps and my crew taught me to be patient, to laugh at things, especially when things go completely opposite of how I thought they would go, to work hard and to treat the environment and myself in the best way. I learned about the amazing beauty and stillness of nature, and the physical work it takes to preserve such wonder. I learned the value of preservation and trail work needed to protect the environment that offers us so much. I pushed myself farther than I thought I could ever go. Through this environmental and team service work, I, like many in my crew, found myself." 

— Gracie Billingsley, a Corps Network 2015 Corpsmember of the Year

"Na wai ke kupu o ʻoe?

Meaning whose sprout are you? This is a question I hold dear to my heart, because in order for the seedling to become the tree it must sprout and break out of the ground first. And for me personally I felt like Kupu really watered, sheltered, and encouraged me out of the ground and to drink in the sunlight. Now it’s up to me to grow to be that big koa tree. And with this question you should be asking yourself, who helped you sprout and how can you pass that on to change someone else’s life by encouraging their breakthrough of the lepo or the dirt." 

— Jon Brito, a Corps Network 2014 Corpsmember of the Year

"A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children."

— John James Audobon

"Until you dig a hole, you plant a tree, you water it and make it survive, you haven't done a thing. You are just talking."

— Wangari Maathai

"To be whole. To be complete. Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from."

— Terry Tempest Williams

"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets' towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you — beyond that next turning of the canyon walls."

— Edward Abbey

"I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in."

— John Muir

“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together … all things connect.”

— Chief Seattle

I left the luxuries of life behind for a simple life. The cell phone was traded for envelopes and stamps. My motorcycle was replaced by a pair of hiking boots. I never imagined myself bathing in a creek or climbing a peak. I worked on mountain ridges during thunderstorms, near soothing creeks, at the world famous Yosemite Falls and throughout Northern California Wilderness. The work was intense and strenuous, and the days were long. I slept on the ground and under the stars. All the sights, sounds and smells will never be forgotten, because pictures and stories will never do justice to what I’ve experienced. Yet the biggest impact was that of my crew. We were an extremely diverse yet close knit crew of twelve. We worked, ate, hiked, relaxed, played, lived and grew together. I made friends for life. Despite five months of arduous labor my impact on the Wilderness is truly insignificant. Rain, snowfall or an earthquake can undo everything I’ve made, dug and cleaned this summer. But my influence on my crewmates and theirs on me will never be washed away.  

— Rosalio Cardenas, a 2007 Corpsmember of the Year

Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby. The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk. The rain makes running pools in the gutter. The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night. And I love the rain. 

— Langston Hughes

You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.

— Edward O Wilson

"Many of us ask what can I, as one person, do, but history shows us that everything good and bad starts because somebody does something or does not do something."

— Sylvia Earle


Boiler Plate: 
Earth Day is a great time to take action and reflect upon the wonders of nature. Here are some quotes to inspire you on Earth Day and beyond!

Where are they now? Updates from The 2014 Corpsmembers of the Year


Jon Brito 

Since the conference I have completed my fellowship with Hawaii Energy through a program of Kupu, called RISE. Through various technical retrofits and behavior changing programs, we helped save tens of thousands of kWh from Hawaii's electrical grid. This saved barrels of oil used and reduced CO2 emissions across the board.

I am still in school, still working towards my Electronic Computer Engineering degree on Maui through the University of Maui. I am also working on a GIS certification.

Something I have gained through my experience in the Corps is some amazing networking opportunities. Doing my GIS certification has led us to map out some of Maui's premiere environments and preserves. There is also this need to continue my work in conservation even though I currently am not directly employed.

I still continue to volunteer at the fishpond, and have cleared a whole shoreline of the invasive mangrove. Roughly 3 acres have been removed from the time I started at the fishpond. Currently I am still looking for more volunteer opportunities, but I am lucky because on Maui they are plentiful.


Edgar Galvez

Hi, everyone. This is Edgar Galvez - I attended The Corps Network 2014 conference as a Corpsmember of the Year. Let me tell you, that conference was amazing. I had a blast in DC, and getting to know the other Corpsmembers of the year. After the conference I came back home and started working for the union.  There have been so many projects that I’ve been working on, like schools, freeways, bridges. It's been incredible to see how things are built and destroyed.

I also go back to Fresno YouthBuild and talk to the new Corpsmembers that are coming in about my life, and how the Corps changed my life, and how it could happen to any of them if they truly believe in themselves.

The other wonderful thing that happened after the conference is that my wife just gave birth to my baby boy, Damian. It's truly a blessing.

What I gained from the conference is public speaking experience. That was my biggest fear or obstacle, but ever since I read my speech in front of all those people I believe in myself more. When it's time to speak in a group or conference, I think I can handle it now. 


Eliseo Nunez 

I woke up this morning and noticed my doormat was backwards. Instead of wondering what happened, right away my love for life made it clear.

“Welcome to planet earth, anything is possible!”

Since my trip to D.C. I’ve really been putting in the time and effort to make San Diego a better place. Clearly it has not only been an amazing opportunity for me to grow, but I feel that I have planted thousands of seeds. For starters, I am now a full time supervisor with San Diego Urban Corps. I find it hard to forget where it all began. My plan is to be the best supervisor I can be and to keep furthering my education. When it’s time to go, I’ll have such an amazing bag of tools I can use out there to keep making my city a beautiful place.

The San Diego Union Tribune has written two articles about me, the city council has awarded me with my own day in early March. Last night I just got a certificate of appreciation signed by an honorable judge here with the superior court. Everyone asks who, what, why?

Well, going back to my doormat. Nothing has changed, I welcome each day with open arms. I do my best to find the gain in the pain, the good in the bad, and the happy in the sad. Thank you guys for sharing these special moments with me and I pledge to continue to take it one day at a time!!!!!


Linda Santana

Since the conference, I’ve moved back to Los Angeles, CA. During the summer, most of my time was spent volunteering at a high school and doing things with my family. Most recently I got a job working for an afterschool program. I work with 2nd grade students, not only helping them with their homework but also providing them with other activities that will allow them to be successful.

As I reflect back on the past year and my term with RMYC, I can’t help but feel grateful for the experience the Corps provided me with. It inspired me, gave me confidence and provided me with personal growth. Although currently I’m not working in an outdoor/ conservation field, the skills I learned have helped me tremendously. My leadership skills have improved, I’m more assertive when it comes to getting things done but I’m also conscious of when I need to step back and allow others to do their job. I learned to have patience and let things go. Living in L.A. my personal as well as professional lifestyle are different but I still find time to go on occasional hikes and am trying my best to live a healthier and more fit lifestyle. 



Ruby Simonian

After my California Conservation Corps experience, I am now working for State parks in the beautiful redwoods of northern California. I will always take my corps experience with me in my future endeavors and will forever be grateful for my past excursions. I plan on continuing school and working towards my goal to become an ecopsychologist.




Candace Washington

Since the conference I have continued being actively engaged in public environmental events. Shortly after the conference I was invited to New York City for a fundraiser for Civicorps by Reeta, she is on the board of directors for Civicorps.  In May I was asked to be the emcee and say a speech to over two hundred people for Civicorps’ Gala. This was also an event to raise money for corpsmembers who graduated and went off to college.

I am still enrolled and attending community college where I am earning my credits needed to transfer. Currently I am working at the City of Oakland Environmental Services division; I received a one year extension. I was also offered a possible permanent position that pays twice as much as what I make now with the City of Oakland Public works call center. I have accepted the offer and I will start next year once I have a full two years of public experience.

Meet The Corps Network's 2014 Award Winners!

We are very excited to announce our 2014 Award Winners! They will each be honored at our National Conference in February. Please click on the links to read their stories. 

Projects of the Year

Each year The Corps Network awards several noteworthy endeavors from Corps with Project of the Year Awards. Here are links to stories about this year's winners.

Orange County Conservation Corps Partners with Disneyland on Innovative “Adopt-A-Channel” Program

Fresno Local Conservation Corps Helps Prepare New Home for Veterans

Vermont Youth Conservation Corps Boost Local Economy and Walkability of Vermont's Capital City

Legacy Achievement Award

The Corps Network Legacy Achievement Award recognizes leaders with approximately 20 or more years of contribution to the Corps movement, who have served in a senior leadership position of a Service or Conservation Corps or multiple Corps, and who have made a significant contribution to the movement (e.g. founded a corps, brought a corps to scale, served for approximately 15+ years as ED/CEO of a corps, or who have made a significant national contribution through developing a national project). This year's winner's include

David Muraki
Executive Director, California Conservation Corps

Scott Weaver
Senior Vice President, Government & Agency Affairs, Student Conservation Association

Leslie Wilkoff
Director of AmeriCorps Programs, The Corps Network

Corpsmembers of the Year / Corps Ambassadors

Each year The Corps Network honors Service and Conservation Corpsmembers whose accomplishments and personal stories exemplify the positive role that Corps serve for individuals and communities nationwide. They help serve as Corps Ambassadors, or spokespeople for the Corps Movement. 2014 winners include

Jon Brito
Kupu / Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps

Edgar Galvez
Fresno Local Conservation Corps

Eliseo Nunez  
Urban Corps of San Diego County

Linda Santana
Rocky Mountain Youth Corps

Ruby Simonian 
California Conservation Corps

Candace Washington

Boiler Plate: 
We are very excited to announce our 2014 Award Winners! They will each be honored at our National Conference in February. Please click on the links to read each of their stories.

The Corps Network Releases New Book, Join the Crew: Inspirational Stories of Young Adults in America’s Service and Conservation Corps

Book features over 60 stories about current and former Corpsmembers from over 25 states.

Support Our 2013 Corpsmember of the Year Giving Campaign!

*** January 23 Update ***

In the final week of our Corpsmember of the Year Giving Campaign, we'd like you to meet Jesse and Luis! Previews of their stories are below. As of 1/23/13, we have raised $415 to support the Corpsmembers attendance at the National Conference. Thank you to those of you who have generously contributed!

We are also pleased to announce that we were selected as a finalist in the JobRaising Challenge, a fundraising and blogging competition "among nonprofits committed to ending the jobs crisis in America." The competition is sponsored by The Huffington Post, the Skoll Foundation, and Crowdrise. The organization that raises the most money “wins” an additional $250,000.

Because of the timing of this fabulous opportunity, we have decided to roll the Corpsmember of the Year Giving Campaign into meeting that larger goal. We hope you will consider donating to our campaign or spreading word of our participation in the competition. You can note on your donation that it is in honor of the Corpsmembers of the Year.

With huge thanks to 2013 Corpsmembers of the Year: Jesse, Luis, Sarah, Brandon, Raghda, and Alex. We are excited to have you all join us at our National Conference in Washington D.C. this February, and honor your significant accomplishments! You and the other Corpsmembers nationwide are the reason we do what we do, and we thank you for sharing your stories of triumph with us.

*** January 16th Update ***

As part of our continuing campaign to introduce our 2013 Corpsmembers of the Year, this week we would like to introduce you to Sarah and Brandon.

To help defer the costs of their experience in Washington DC, this year we are asking for your help. As you may recall, our goal is to raise $1800 by January 31st and we've got a long way to go! Thank you for considering a donation and for sharing Sarah and Brandon's stories with others.

We thank you for your support.


For over 25 years The Corps Network has been working to support our network of members and the youth they serve through programming that focuses on helping Corpsmembers develop job skills and work experience, further their educational credentials, and develop leadership skills in service to their communities. More simply, our mission is to promote the growth, quality, and sustainability of Corps. We believe that in this time of economic hardship and recovery that well-funded, high-quality Corps are needed more than ever.

Each year over 30,000 young people join Corps with hopes of improving their own lives and the communities they live in. We bring 6 young people to our National Conference in February as “Corpsmembers of the Year.” Their achievements and service merit special commendation. As part of their experience in Washington D.C., Corpsmembers of the Year often get to meet their members of Congress and serve as our most valuable spokespeople.

To help defer the costs of this important experience, this year we are asking for your help. It costs us approximately $1800 to bring each person to Washington D.C. and pay for their meals, lodging, and airfare. With that goal in mind, we would like to raise $1800 by January 31st. For the next 3 weeks, we plan to send out 2 stories each week about our Corpsmembers of the Year to show you just how special they are, and how your support helps us work to support Corps. Each week we are going to send out updates to show how much closer we have come to achieving our goal. After reading the stories, we hope you will consider making a donation to The Corps Network in support of their experience. We thank you for your support.


Jesse Roehm
Mile High Youth Corps

Jesse was looking for a fresh start after he graduated from Indiana University in May 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and international studies. He wanted to do AmeriCorps and he felt he needed to move away from Indiana in order to make real changes in his life.

The mountains of Colorado seemed like the ideal location to forge a new beginning.

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Luis Gaeta
Fresno Local Conservation Corps

Nineteen-year-old Luis Gaeta was working three part-time jobs, struggling to make ends meet in retail, as a referee, and in security. His car constantly broke down and his housing situation was unstable. He realized his lack of job skills and a high school diploma held him back from leading a more comfortable lifestyle.

Luis knew it was time to get serious when he and his girlfriend found out they were expecting their first child.

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Sarah Huff
California Conservation Corps

Sarah Huff wasn’t looking for a job when she attended a California Conservation Corps (CCC) orientation in 2011. Lacking her driver’s license, living with her parents, and unable to declare a major after three semesters of college, Sarah thought she might find direction if she tried something new.

Little did she know she would soon discover her calling in conservation.

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Brandon Penny

During his third week with Civicorps Learning Academy, Brandon Penny wrote a poem in which he stated, “Just because I don’t have my high school diploma doesn’t mean I am not smart.”

This stanza encapsulates Brandon’s journey and his humble nature.

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Raghda Raphael
Urban Corps of San Diego

Raghda Raphael’s story is one of triumph over tragedy.

She and her family emigrated from Iraq to the United States in 2010. Though Raghda came to America as a refugee, her life in Baghdad had once been filled with happiness. As a child, she received good grades in school, had many friends, and lived comfortably with her family in her grandfather’s big house.

Unfortunately, things changed once the initial hopefulness following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein faded and insurgents took power. Raghda was soon surrounded by the threat of car bombs, roadside bombs, and assassinations.

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Alex Hreha
Coconino Rural Environment Corps

Alex Hreha was a teenager in need of direction. He describes himself as having been overweight, under-motivated, and lacking self-confidence.

All of this changed, however, when he joined the Coconino Rural Environment Corps (CREC) in 2010.

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