Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Lorax

Last week was Dr. Seuss’ birthday (March 2) and not coincidentally, the movie The Lorax came out.  From the official website of the movie (, The Lorax is a “classic tale of a forest guardian who shares the enduring power of hope.  The animated adventure follows the journey of a 12-year-old as he searches for a real Truffula Tree, the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams.  To get it he must find the story of the Lorax, the acerbic yet charming character who fights to protect his world.”

I have yet to see the movie, but the previews and buzz surrounding The Lorax brought to mind a poem that was written and read by Groundwater Guardian team leader Cathy Lotzer of Marshfield, Wisconsin at the 2011 Groundwater Guardian National Designation Ceremony on October 5, 2011.  Cathy uses the lesson and message of Dr. Seuss’ tale of The Lorax to urge us all to action.

1985 was the year it all began,
The Groundwater Foundation,
A dream with a plan.

Susan at her kitchen table
Volunteers all around,
learning all about water in the ground.

The Aquifer newsletter and Groundwater Week they would start,
also working with children who proved to be quite smart!

The Water Festival was born, and little did they know,
how that simple idea would spread and grow.

Next came Groundwater Guardian, only eight groups that first year.
Eighteen years later, Their same message is still clear.

Supporting, recognizing, and connecting us all,
join, be proactive, and volunteer was their call.

They taught us to educate, motivate, and care for the waters,
protect it for all of our sons and our daughters.

So under their wing we took to the streets,
Cathy Lotzer poses with Foundation
President Jane Griffin at the
2011 National Designation Ceremony.
spreading the word to all those we’d meet.
Then we’d gather together each year at this time.
We would learn, we would share, and of course we would dine.

So here’s the part I need to impress,
or never be asked to speak again, I guess!

Inspiration can come from within so I’m told,
but also from others and their actions so bold.

At this conference it’s easy to get recharged and inspired.
Just steal ideas from others, it’s ok – it’s almost required.

Stand up, use your voice, share your ideas and your dreams,
take action, inspire others, help start a new Guardian team.

Look around your own town and all the places you go,
the Green Sites program is calling don’t you know?

Take the Guardian message that you hear today,
and no matter how small try to make a difference some way.

I’d like to end with a few more lines, but no these aren’t mine,
Dr. Seuss said it best and boy he could rhyme!

(Excerpted from ‘The Lorax’)
"You're glumping the pond where the Humming-Fish hummed!
No more can they hum, for their gills are all gummed.
So I'm sending them off. Oh, their future is dreary.
They'll walk on their fins and get woefully weary
in search of some water that isn't so smeary.
I hear things are just as bad up in Lake Erie.

I am the Lorax, and I speak for the trees,
which you seem to be chopping as fast as you please.

I am the Lorax, and I'll yell and I'll shout
for the fine things on earth that are on their way out!

And at that very moment, we heard a loud whack!
From outside in the Fields came a sickening smack
of an axe on a tree. Then we heard the tree fall.
The very last Truffula Tree of them all!

‘But now,' says the Once-ler, 'Now that you're here,
the word of the Lorax seems perfectly clear.
UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
NOTHING is going to get better. It's not.'

‘SO...catch!’ calls the Once-ler. He lets something fall.
It's a Truffula Seed. It's the last one of all!
You're in charge of the last of the Truffula Seeds.
And Truffula Trees are what everyone needs.

So plant a new Truffula. Treat it with care.
Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air.
Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack.
Then the Lorax and all of his friends may come back."

So my call to action for all of you is this - you are in charge of the last Truffula seed!
Or translating into our words, you are in charge of the only water we have!

Will you accept this challenge I’m offering to you?
Will you leave here tomorrow and in all that you do?

Will you work to protect it? This is your CHOICE!
Will you speak for the water? For the water has no voice!


Anonymous said...

What a great message the Once-ler has!!! I used to read Dr. Seuss books to my children when they were young and the Lorax was their favorite. Thanks for the inspiration!

Terra Smith-Briel said...

Awesome the message. Terra