This Earth Day will be the first anniversary of the Gregory J. Reiter Memorial Fund I established April 22, 2016 in honor of my late husband. The Fund is my proudest endeavor since Greg’s death – allowing me to continue and even enhance my support for causes to which Greg and I had a shared commitment.
In recognition of Earth Day, I am proud to recap the environmental and wildlife conservation projects the Fund has supported in the past 365 days:
In light of the growing body of evidence that animal agriculture harms our environment and destroys wildlife habitat, the Fund has been partnering with the Food for Thought program on a U.S. nationwide initiative to help wildlife and environmental organizations adopt vegan or vegetarian menu policies. Most recently, the Fund has begun sponsoring recognition grants for organizations that formalize such policies.
Loudoun County, Virginia – long a favorite getaway destination for residents of Washington D.C. and near Northern Virginia suburbs – was where Greg and I made our final home together, on a 21-acre property we worked hard to establish as a certified wildlife sanctuary. The Fund made a grant to help Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, where I was a board member for three years, work with the County government to protect “green infrastructure” in its Ten Year Plan.
The Fund was also a sponsor of Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy’s 2016 annual member meeting – providing attendees a delicious all-vegan meal and allowing the organization to make yet one more contribution to wildlife and environmental conservation. We calculated that this one vegan meal for 150 participants saved 55,000 gallons of water, 1,500 square feet of forest, 50 animal lives, 2,000 pounds of grain, and 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide!
This Poolesville, Maryland sanctuary was one of Greg’s and my favorite places – and since Greg’s death, one of my best forms of “therapy” has been my weekly volunteer stints working hands-on with the sanctuary pigs, horses, cows, sheep, and goats.
Although Poplar Spring is best known as a sanctuary for farmed animals, it also provides hundreds of acres of protected habitat for wildlife. The Greg Fund has made several contributions throughout the last year to support Poplar Spring’s work.
Happy Earth Day 2017!