The Earth Is Our Mother Sign

"The Earth Is Our Mother"
(Hopi Indian Chant)

The Earth is our mother, we must take care of her.
The Earth is our mother, we must take care of her.
Hey yana, ho yana, hey yan yan,
Hey yana, ho yana, hey yan yan.

The Earth is Our Mother
Highway Adoption Project


Everyone in the USA is familiar with the Adopt-A-Highway signs around the nation--they indicate that a group of people has taken on the responsibility of stewardship for a particular mile of road. This is a great opportunity to provide service to the community and take a small step towards cleaning up the environment. What does one do, however, if one isn't part of a club, society, lodge, etc.? Well, one Wiccan priestess took things into her own hands and signed-up for a section of road on her own (see Valley's story), counting on friends to help her out on clean-up days--sort of a "If I plan it, they will come" philosophy. Not only did her plan work, but she has challenged others to do the same. A few of us accepted her challenge, and asked if we could use the group name she chose--THE EARTH IS OUR MOTHER. We envisioned other people doing the same, so that signs repeating the message would sprout up all over the state. . .and who knows--maybe all over the nation
This project is in its infancy. So far, we have one stretch of road bearing this sign, near the intersection of Highways 45 and 141. That's the one you're looking at here.

Who can participate:

Anyone who identifies with the phrase "The Earth is our Mother". This project is not specifically connected to any one organization, but consists of people from many spiritual paths and lifestyles who want to work together to make a difference. It isn't a "pagans only" project.
All we ask is tolerance for everyone's path and a desire to beautify a piece of your own community. You just need to apply to your local Adopt-A-Highway program for a site.

It is our hope that if you choose to participate in a Wisconsin Adopt-A-Highway program with THE EARTH IS OUR MOTHER as your group name, you will let us know so that we can post information about your site and perhaps allow others to contact you about helping with clean-up days.

Current Projects:

Here we will keep an update on current projects. The first one listed for the Appleton/Green Bay area was organized by Valley and there is already a sign in place. The Milwaukee and Madison areas are still working on getting a sign up and organizing work crews. Email addresses are listed for anyone interested in getting involved.

Appleton/Green Bay:(The First Stretch!)
Valley at:

Jasmine at:
or Twilight's Calling at:

Denise at:
To announce yourself as a coordinator for a stretch of road someplace:
(Or if you want to start being one:)
Denise at:

How to get started:

Here we will include additional information on how to Adopt your own section of highway. Valley has a wonderful story on how she adopted her section of road. Her story is located at Valley's Story and you can find additonal photos of the sign and a very adorable picture of Valley herself. Following are some tips Denise came up with along with contact information for the different districts.

Denise’s Additional Tips for Getting Started:

  1. When you contact the coordinator for your Department of Transportation District (see list following) to request an application, let them know if the road you have selected is a county highway. Evidently some counties have their own program for county roadways, and you will save time by contacting them directly. Otherwise, the state coordinator will return your application if it isn’t a road that they assign.
  2. Go out and look for a mile of road that hasn’t already been claimed (signs are posted at each end). You have the option of indicating three choices on the application forms. Be sure the terrain is fairly safe, avoiding bridges, overpasses, steep ground or tunnels. Make note of whether it is a state highway or county roadway (refer to #1). Make note of how to describe the area, i.e. “1 mile on Hwy PG from the intersection of Low Road to High Street.”
  3. Complete the application form, listing the Group Name as THE EARTH IS OUR MOTHER, and listing your choices of road sites in order of preference.

Wisconsin DOT Adopt-A-Highway District Coordinators (from flyer received January 2000)

District 1 Donna Sanford, Madison 608-246-3871
Counties: Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Grant, Green Iowa, Jefferson, Lafayette, Rock, and Sauk
District 2 Joann Brey, Waukesha 414-548-8722
Counties: Fon du Lac, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha
District 3 John Berggren, Green Bay 920-492-5648
Counties: Brown, Calumet, Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, Outagamie, Shawno, Sheboygan, Winnebago
District 4 Laurie Miller, Wisconsin Rapids 715-421-8394
Counties: Adams, Green Lake, Juneau, Marathon, Marquette, Portage, Waupaca, Waushara, Wood
District 5 Carol Wang, LaCrosse 608-785-9055
Counties: Buffalo, Crawford, Jackson, LaCrosse, Monroe, Richland, Trempealeau, Vernon
District 6 Ron Schroeder, Eau Claire 715-836-2834
Counties: Chippewa, Clark, Dunn, Eau Claire, Pepin, Pierce, St. Croix, Taylor
District 7 Jane Nelson, Rhinelander 715-365-5758
Counties: Florence, forest, Iron, Langlade, Lincoln, Oneida, Price, Vilas
District 8 Julie Hanson, Superior 715-392-7943
Counties: Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Polk, Rusk, Sawyer, Washburn

Contact Information

The Web Team for this project consists of Suzanne, Denise, and Dan. Denise has taken on the task of keeping track of projects around the state, and plans to learn HTML along the way. Suzanne and Dan are sharing the duties of site maintenance. We don't have much of a plan beyond that.

The Earth Is Our Mother
(Hopi Indian Chant)

The Earth is our mother, we must take care of her.
The Earth is our mother, we must take care of her.
[Refrain] Hey yana, ho yana, hey yan yan,
Hey yana, ho yana, hey yan yan.

Other Verses:
Her sacred ground we walk upon, with every step we take.
The Sky is our father, we must take care of him.
The Rivers are our sisters, we must take care of them.
The Trees are our brothers, we must take care of them.
The Earth is our mother, she will take care of us.

Wisconsin Spirit Pathways