Moderator David Marquis, left, leads a panel on the Constellation of Living Memorials project at the Anatole in Dallas on Earth Day. Photo by Wendel Withrow.

April 25, 2024

As soon as you exit the freeway and enter the Anatole Hotel parking lot, you know that this year’s EarthX is different from previous years when it was held at the sprawling and historic State Fair grounds. What hasn't changed is EarthX's commitment to bring a wide variety of speakers and subjects to attendees.

Just a quick review of the week-long agenda reminded me that the environmental challenges and their possible solutions are not only complex, but bring out the best of innovation in people that care.

Appropriately, the EarthX conferences opened on April 22, Earth Day. This day was designated as North Texas Day and was offered free to the public. With topics ranging from infrastructure to parks and trails, the forum presented an overview of the many dedicated volunteers, civic leaders and staff working on environmental issues in DFW.

The following days' events were directed at more specialized groups and mirror many of the same presentations from prior EarthX events.

The EarthX tech team watches live streams of speakers on two stages. Photo by Wendel Withrow.


While I settled into my seat Monday for a usual day of gloom and doom followed by a ray of hope, a panel took the stage with four Native Americans who were asked to give their perspective on the "environment." What followed was a reminder by Jodi Voice Yellowfish that our land had been their land prior to being "relocated" and that Native Americans have faced "hundreds of years of disrespect to Mother Earth." Another panelist, Evelio Flores, took the audience back to the real basics: 

"The land is alive. If we listen, we can do a lot of good,” said Flores. “You have to have a reciprocal relationship with our environment."

The conversation went over the alloted time, but the audience stayed and the discussion was very well received. At the end, the energy was high and EarthX indicated a concerted effort was underway to include Native Americans in not only the conversation, but in the implementation of restoring our fragile North Texas homeland.


After lunch, we got back to the business of brownfields, affordable housing and urban planning before our very own Amy Martin, senior GSDFW reporter and author of Wild DFW, published by Timber Press last July,  joined a panel on Volunteers Bringing the Land Back to Life.

Amy Martin and Kristi Kerr Leonard discussed the importance of volunteers at nature preserves. Photo by Wendel Withrow.

North Master Naturalists Martin, Kristi Kerr Leonard and Rebecca Poston took us on a whirlwind tour of some of the local green spaces and the vital role of volunteers in not only maintaining the physical elements, but also working on spiritual benefit of having a little piece of wilderness in the DFW megaplex.

So my day ended with the inspiration of Harold Simmons Park and saving 250 beautiful acres “Where Nature Unites Dallas.”

Watch this space for more information and opportunities to get off the couch, close that computer screen and join us at one of our local oases.


EarthX kicks off Monday with free 'North Texas Day'

EarthX returns to Fair Park this weekend

Old cemeteries to get new life with rewilding program


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