In light of the recent Earth Day celebrations, it’s highly likely that you find yourself thinking of ways to give back to Mother Earth. Whether or not you made it out to some of the coolest Earth Day events in the RGV, there’s no time like the present to spring into action!

In today’s crazy, technology-obsessed world, it’s so easy to find yourself feeling small, trapped indoors, held hostage by those little screens. However, you have one invaluable advantage for escape: the Rio Grande Valley, of course! Living in the RGV, there’s an endless supply of natural diversity and ways to get involved at your fingertips. From Rio Grande City to Brownsville, you have the power to act and see the world of difference your efforts can make. While it’s easy to believe that the actions of one person do not have the potential to make an impact, that’s completely untrue.

When you become proactive, a ripple effect is created. An act as simple as cleaning up the beach in South Padre Island serves as a powerful tool of example. Whether it’s friends or family you share your efforts with, once they see the love you’re putting back into the RGV, they’ll have the desire to act too. We each have the potential to change the way we and others perceive our world, starting in the RGV.

If you’re in need of a little inspiration, here are five ways you can show the RGV some love to make sure the RGV stays clean, beautiful and safe:

Give our parks a little R&R

If you’re not sure how to get active, the McAllen Nature Center is the perfect place to begin your quest! Each month, they host a variety of activities devoted to nourishing the RGV such as tree planting, informative nature walks and plant tours.

Make a difference this season and attend their weekly ‘Volunteer in the Park’ events. Every Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. year-round, the McAllen Nature Center gives RGV residents the chance to give back to the planet by taking care of some of the places we hold most dear: our parks! Learn to care for plants and show our parks a little love today! For full details, click here.

The Valley Land Fund

Committed to the preservation and conservation of the RGV, the Valley Land Fund is the perfect organization to contact if you’re looking for a way to get in on local environmental efforts. Started 15 years ago, the VLF is composed of passionate RGV residents who have made it their mission to ensure that the fate of native plants and wildlife in our home will not be compromised.

As they have a grand mission, the VLF is currently looking for spirited volunteers to help them ensure a brighter future for the next generations of the RGV. Get the full scoop here.

Show our sea life some love

It’s no secret that as our environmental problems have worsened, so have their effects on earth’s animals. While this is a saddening fact to digest, there’s something you can do about it. What makes the RGV so unique is our wildlife diversity. This summer, don’t forget about our populous marine life.

At the Dolphin Research and Sealife Nature Center in South Padre Island, they have made it their mission to look after the RGV’s precious sea animals. If you’re looking for a way to give back, make yourself a part of the center’s mission and become a volunteer today! Click here for more information. 

Sea Turtle Inc. rescues, rehabilitates and releases injured sea turtles on South Padre Island. They are dependent upon volunteers and can use your help with everything from working in the gift shop to feeding the Sea Turtles. Find out more about volunteer opportunities here.     

Keep it beautiful!

In addition to a range of wildlife, the RGV also happens to be home to some of greatest beaches in Texas (totally not a biased opinion—I promise). While it’s no secret that RGV residents love these tropical spots, it’s all too often that we find them covered in trash.

There’s no better way to give back to the RGV than to help alleviate this problem! By getting involved with organizations like Keep SPI Beautiful and Keep Brownsville Beautiful, you can be part of their regular beach clean-ups to ensure a brighter future for both South Padre Island and Port Isabel. Find more information here and here.

The Texas General Land Office also has an awesome Adopt-A-Beach Program. This is an all volunteer organization focused on keeping trash off Texas beaches. Learn more here. 

The Sierra Club

Last but not least, it’s important to note how many environmentalist groups there are in the RGV. One such group is the Sierra Club, a group that is devoted to eliminating threats to the RGV’s natural habitat. If you have a fire in your heart any time you hear of matters like factories harming the environment, this group is the right one for you!

Join them on their current fight against the LNG projects in Brownsville. Click here to learn how you can become a member.

Yes, Earth Day 2016 has passed but contrary to what you might think, a small action can make a huge difference in a region like the RGV. This summer, put your free time to good use and get involved with one of these organizations. Whether it’s lobbying to preserve one of McAllen’s oldest parks or cleaning debris in Port Isabel that sets your soul on fire, set change in motion and give back to the RGV! Oh, and prepare to be amazed by the effects of your efforts—sometimes great things come in small packages.

We would love to hear YOUR stories RGV! Tell us who or what inspired you this Earth Day and how you are becoming a part of the change. Comment below or email us at info@rgv.com.

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