by Tom Sims
Earth Day is both an event and a movement. As a movement, it makes a difference, as an event, it is not to be missed.
“Earth Day Network’s year-round mission is to broaden, diversify and activate the environmental movement worldwide, through a combination of education, public policy, and consumer campaigns.”
Locally, Earth Day is a project of a group of dedicated souls including co-coordinator, Radley Reep who says, “It’s great to see so many people at Earth Day each year. It’s the public’s event really – a day of hope for a better world. Besides, it’s fun to see what’s new in the way of green products and to rub shoulders with those who have made environmental stewardship a part of their everyday lives.”
April 22 is Earth Day every year, no matter what the day of the week. It marks a significant anniversary in 1970 that is considered the birth of the modern environmental movement. Protests, social and environmental awareness, and activism of the 60s and the 70s were accompanied by surging gas prices, pollution and out-of-control consumption.
In 1962, Rachel Carson published Silent Spring and it soared to the top of the New York Times bestseller list. Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, thought that if he could infuse the energy of the times with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. He proposed a “national teach-in on the environment.” Republican Senator Pete McCloskey joined him and Denis Hayes came on as national coordinator building a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land.
According to Earthday.org, “Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.”
See Frequently Asked Questions about Earth Day and its history here.
While Earth Day remains, April 22, on Saturday, April 25 Earth Day Fresno will host the Central Valley’s largest Earth Day celebration. Participants will include approximately 60 local agencies, business and non-profit organizations.
Earth Day Fresno’s Mission Statement is “To Inspire people to make changes in their daily lives, to restore the health of the San Joaquin Valley and the planet.”
For the first time, CMAC, the Community Media Access Collaborative, will be present to record the event and create a video for distribution.
Earth Day happens because some major donors step up to the plate to make it happen. They are selected, invited, and recommended because they are walking the environmental walk.
Underwriters: AgWell Solar, The Fresno Bee, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, and Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno.
Sponsors: Republic Services and Mid Valley Disposal.
Contributors: Fresno City Council District 7 – Council Member Clint Olivier, Community Medical Centers, Sierra Club Tehipite Chapter and SolarCity.
“Join us as we celebrate Our Planet,” they say.
Here is the Entertainment Schedule, subject to last minute changes:
Saturday April 25
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
2233 N. First St. (at Clinton Av.)
10:00-10:30 SIMBA SCHOOL OF MUSIC
11:00 Official Opening Earth Fresno
Voice of the Earth (Welcome by Bill Murphy)
Scotch-Irish Flute & Whistle ballad (Roscanna)
Poem – to be read by Erin Smith
Additional announcements (Voice of the Earth)
11:15 -12:00 ROSCANNA
12:00 – 12:15 NOCO Dance leads Zumba
01:00 – 01:30 THE RAGING GRANNIES
01:30 Front patio of the FRESNO ART MUSEUM – TRASHIQUE MUSIC
03:00 – 04:00 SOUL KITCHENETTE (with guest vocalist Marley Hanner)
10:30 – 11:00 Mike Reilly / Scott Nester
12:30 – 13:00 Additional music (The Ukelele Boys?? Or Mike/Scott continue)
02:00 – 03:00 Woody Moise / Mike Brown/ Liz Laury
Other Activities are:
• A symbolic tree planting with Tree Fresno (time unknown as yet)
• The Fresno County Bicycle Coalition is having an “Earth Day Rolling Workshop and Fun Ride” that day, and members will arrival en masse sometime around noon.
Activities for kids will include the following:
• Zen Water Bottles – Decorating recycled water bottles for use as beverage bottles or for decor/flower vases (Host: Carla Neal)
• Re-Purposeful – Creating starter planter kits made out of used egg cartons (Host: Clovis East HS/Interfaith Club)
• Large-Scale Solar-Powered Toy Car – Interactive activity with a solar powered kids’ car (Host: Tom Cotter)
• Endangered Species Bingo – Focusing on endangered species (Host: Fresno Audubon Society)
• Bookmobile – Books focused on earth-friendly themes (Host: Fresno County Library)
• Giant Jenga – Interactive jenga game (Host: Carey Wilson)
• Earth Hopscotch – Earth-themed hopscotch activity (Host: Patti Potter)
• Chinese Jump Rope – Creating starter Chinese jump ropes out of recycled rubber bands (Host Debbie Xiong)
• T-shirt Yarn – Making yarn from old T-shirts (Host: Jenny Lewis)
• No Butts Coloring Activity – Draw/color a clean environment (Host: The American Lung Association in California, Fresno)
It is going to be a day full of activity, fun, and learning. Between events, visit the Education Exhibitors:
Brahma Kumaris Meditation Center
Central California Local Urban Chicken Keepers
Citizens’ Climate Lobby Fresno
City of Fresno Recycling Program
Community Medical Centers Sustainability Team
Earth Day Fresno
Eco Village Project of Fresno / Dakota EcoGarden
Fresnans Against Fracking
Fresno Audubon Society
Fresno Center for Nonviolence
Fresno Metro Ministry
Healthy Home Company
Kepler Neighborhood School
League of Women Voters of Fresno
March for Elephants
Melaleuca, the Wellness Company
Move To Amend
New Thought Community
Revive the San Joaquin
San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust
Sierra Club Tehipite Chapter
Sierra Foothill Conservancy
Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno Green Sanctuary Committee
United States Forest Service Sierra National Forest
United States Green Building Council, Central California
VALLEY Latino Environmental Advancement Project
Even vendors are screened to make sure they embody the values and objectives of Earth Day. Many want to participate, but only truly green companies can. Vendors include:
A Different Bent
Bags by Wendy
California Sunlight Corporation
Dunn and Son Electronic Recycler
Healthy Air Lawn Care
Jim Anderson, Amsoil Dealer
Norton Chiropractic Wellness Center
T&D Willey Farms
Finally, there will be two extra activities according to Earth Day Fresno: according to Radley Reep, Co-Coordinator:
Renewable-Energy Car Show: At this point, the renewable-energy car show will feature 14 vehicles (mostly all-electric) from these 8 makers: British Motor Works, Chevrolet, Fiat, Ford, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Tesla and Toyota. There will be three Teslas, including a Roadster. And there will be an all-electric bus and an all-electric refrigerator truck.
Bike Show: Bicycles as Alternatives to Automobiles: At this point, local bike shops will provide cargo bicycles (plus trailers), folding bikes, regular bicycles, and tricycles set up for carrying awkward loads. Pedal Junkies will provide the drivers for rides to children around the grounds on cargo bikes. There will be 2 and 4 passenger bikes and possibly a couple of electric bikes.
On your way to the event, you can sing the Earth Day Anthem to the tune of “Ode to Joy” by Beethoven, the official anthem of the European Union. It is also performed on the Earth Day. :
Joyful, joyful, we adore our Earth in all its wonderment
Simple gifts of nature that all join into a paradise
Now we must resolve to protect her
Show her our love throughout all time
With our gentle hand and touch
We make our home a newborn world
Now we must resolve to protect her
Show her our love throughout all time
With our gentle hand and touch
We make our home a newborn world.
( Credit: “Used with permission of William Wallace, Apex, North Carolina.” http://earthdayanthem.homestead.com/)
Or, you can hum along with the kids as you view this video which is used by permission from Earth Day Fresno.
Other area Earth Day Events coming up are open to the public and include:
April 11, Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (Free Event with Zoo admission) America’s Party for the Planet and Breakfast with the Animals – Fresno Chaffee Zoo, 894 W. Belmont Ave., Fresno, CA 93728. For more information call (559)498-5921. To order tickets go to www.fresnochaffeezoo.org/events.html.
April 18, Saturday 8:30 a.m. –1:00 p.m. (No charge) California State Parks Foundation’s 17th Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup – Millerton Lake State Recreation Area – This year’s project this will consist of the construction of two life jacket loan stations, the planting of drought resistant trees and general park cleanup and improvement. To register to volunteer, visit calparks.org or email them at earthday@calparks[dot]org.
April 22, Wednesday 10:00 a.m. -1:00 p.m. (No Charge) Earth Day Fair at CSU Fresno -Memorial Garden in front of and east of the Kennel Bookstore – There will be educational activities and non-profit booths in addition to food vendors and some local product vendors. There will also be a variety of student clubs and organizations to share their role in the dynamic field of sustainability. For more information, contact Criss Wilhite at (559)240-9662 or Kassandra Hishida at firstname.lastname@example.org[dot]edu.
April 24, Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Registration: $10, includes lunch) How Blue is Your Valley? Your Voice, Your Future: A Community Conference on the Future of Water in the San Joaquin Valley Fresno City College, Old Administration Building, Room 251 -Keynote speaker: Mark Arax, author and journalist. Panel discussions of the human right to water, fracking, Valley Fever and California’s new groundwater law. Register online at: environmental.calbar.ca.gov/#bluevalley. For more information, contact Gary Lasky at datanations@gmail[dot]com.
April 25, Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Free admission to the museum) Family Day at the Fresno Art Museum Radio Park in Fresno (First & Clinton)Family Day at the Fresno Art Museum is community-building, a cultural event that is fun and educational, to be enjoyed by the whole family. It is an enriching experience that is meant to inspire, engage, awaken artistic interest, and educate. Family Days are public events and occur three times a year: in the spring, fall, and during the Holidays. This Family Day is in support of Earth Day at Radio Park.
April 25, Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (No Charge) Earth / Arbor Day – St. John’s Riverwalk Park (Ben Maddox & St. Johns River) in Visalia – This year’s event will focus on sustainability, conservation, and energy efficiency and will include live music, exhibitors, vendors, food booths, multiple demonstration workshops and a number of community enhancement “Pay It Forward” projects. For more information, go to their website.
May 1, Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (No Charge) Earth Day Celebration – Porterville – Prospect Ed Center, 645 N. Prospect Ave., Porterville – If you are a member of the community, a teacher interested in bringing your class or a presenter with an earth-friendly/living-thing-friendly idea to share, contact Steve Reynolds, (559)782-7095×611 or sreynolds@portervilleschools[dot]org.