One Person’s Story: Taking Action Inspired by Film Festival

This is the story of one person’s commitment to action. After her participation in the film festival, Pamela Todd has made a pledge to act, and showcase the belief that we can each make a difference through our actions.

The 2nd annual One Earth Film Festival was a huge success, bringing in over 2,000 attendees. And though we were all able to learn from many great films, one of the primary purposes of the festival is to demonstrate and support“the power of human involvement” to make a difference in the challenges and opportunities before us.

As part of her pledge, Pam has joined Wild Ones, an organization devoted to encouraging the use of native plants in landscaping as a way to increase biodiversity and save species from extinction. She has also volunteered to start an Oak Park area chapter of Wild Ones, and believes we can build a vibrant chapter here in our local community.

When asked why she chose thmonarch on milkweek2is topic for her action pledge, Pam said, “After watching the Story of Straw at the One Earth Film Festival, I pledged to use more native plants and help inspire others to join the movement. Starting a Wild Ones chapter in the area seemed like the perfect way to do this. It's a group that is devoted to making landscaping with native plants the norm, rather than the exception, in private and public spaces.” Her resolve was doubled after watching “The Call of Life” which highlights the extinction of large numbers of species largely due to loss of their natural habitats.

“By joining Wild Ones, we can connect to, and learn from people who have a passion for native gardening, take field trips, share tips, participate in seed exchanges, and find out where to find hundreds of varieties of native species at low cost park district sales,” said Pam when talking about her vision for the group.

According to the Wild Ones website, the organization has recently partnered with Monarch Watch to launch the Wild for Monarchs Campaign. The Monarch, which coincidentally is the Illinois state insect, is down 50% in population due to habitat loss and climate change. The campaign encourages people to plant common milkweed in their gardens to help reverse the 50% reduction.

Pam and other local “activists” determined to build a more sustainable and resilient community by adopting practices that support a healthy environment will gather at the Oak Park Library on Monday, May 20th, to share ideas and get resources for their individual and community actions. Please join us for that gathering interactive community gathering! (see related article)

If you're interested in connecting with Pam directly about the important work surrounding native plants and gardens, you can email her at, or meet her at the library on May 20th.