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Where good is going on in her orbit, she's in it.

KANSAS CITY, Mo.--Sally Gladwell, 21, has been putting the Earth first since she was a child in Toledo, Ohio. "I was usually finding bugs or looking at flowers. ... I came home from grade school and asked my parents why we aren't doing recycling. I even used to roll up towels at bottoms of doors (to preserve heat) and run around turning off lights."

The child's vision of what Fr. Thomas Berry dubs the "new cosmology" carried over into Gladwell's adulthood: Before graduating from Xavier University, she received the 1993 Dorothy Day Medal for her work in raising consciousness about ecology, work she continues today at an environmental consulting firm as an assistant biologist.

A biology major with a peace studies minor, Gladwell in her freshman year joined a club that collected cans -- and later glass and paper -- for recycling. Later, the club expanded into Earth Care, which addressed issues ranging from recycling to rain forests and planted 21 trees on campus. For three years, it was chosen from among 80 clubs as club of the year.

Gladwell, meanwhile, founded an official recycling program that hired workers to collect goods. She was coordinator for two years.

Gladwell has been equally concerned with the care of the soul. In college she helped plan retreats for her peers and for high school students "to get in touch with God and just get away." For four years she was a team leader for a high school program, Teens Encounter Christ.

"I actually don't like the word |retreat' because people says, |Oh, now we have to go back to the real world." It gives the connotation that the real world is this awful place. ... I just think we need to remember the good, positive things that are in the world," she said.

Gladwell not only remembers the good, she transmits it to others. Last summer, besides teaching youngsters about science and ecology at a Cincinnati YMCA program, she had the opportunity to teach about "people left out of the history books," including women and people of color.

"When we study history we usually study wars. ... We studied people who did positive things" on behalf of peace, she said.

How does Gladwell maintain her own inner peace?

"Sometimes my activism becomes my quiet time. I'll take a walk in the park and become a little closer to nature each time ... and understand a little more. I'm not Thoreau but ... that empowers me to go back and tell what I feel. It also helps me deal a lot better with people."

Then there's the note she saw hanging on a coworker's bulletin board, a sort of spiritual speed-limit sign by which Gladwell says she tries to live: "Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience."
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Title Annotation:ecology activist Sally Gladwell; Networking
Author:Martinez, Demetria
Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Date:Sep 17, 1993
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