Celebrated every April 22, Earth Day is the largest, most celebrated environmental event worldwide.
In Canada alone more than six million people participate in Earth Day activities such as restoring habitats, recycling resources, growing their own food, cleaning up communities, conserving water, reducing their reliance on cars in favour of walking and biking and cutting down on their gas and electricity usage.
Many of these participants are children who participate with their schools. We all know of the success of government programs to stop drinking and driving or stop smoking.
The benefits of educating children today about environmental sustainability can be significant in the future and also have an immediate impact today.
In Summerland, Earth Day has grown into Earth Week to accommodate the abundance of events during April 19 to 26. It is a week of family fun and raising environmental awareness with a variety of events for all ages.
Most of them have focused on making changes to our lifestyles in a way that makes our “Earth Footprint” more sustainable.
Every year, hundreds of Summerland residents have come out to restore riparian habitats, protect our water resources through using rain barrels, paint fish on storm sewers, learn how to grow their own food while reducing water usage, pledge to cut down their power usage by turning off lights and computers and recognize businesses who promote a green footprint.
Our programs—focused on education, action, and recognition — are successful because they offer simple, easy-to-accomplish actions that can be done by all of us. Each individual action will add up to a substantial improvement for the environment when we all work together.
A dedicated group of volunteers has been busy planning activities since last fall to ensure that this sixth annual event carries on this tradition of promoting change.
Our theme this year is One Community, One Environment.
There is a growing recognition that while environmental action starts at home, we are truly one global community and the state of our oceans for instance affects everyone including land locked countries.
Organizers are confident in stating that Summerland’s eight-day long event represents one of Canada’s largest Earth Week celebrations per capita.
Events will be held throughout the community and range from films, demonstrations and expositions, to crafts, readings and planting events for the whole family. New this year is Earth Day on the Water event at Peach Orchard Park that focuses on the importance of riparian zones on Earth Day, April 22.
On April 20 we are hosting a square foot gardening workshop at Grasslands Nursery again due to popular demand. We are showing the award winning documentary film Elemental at Centre Stage Theatre on April 24.
A Philosophers Cafe on Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Western Science will be held on April 22.
A seminar on invasive trees and taking out Russian olive tree at the Summerland Ornamental Gardens on April 25 .
We are hosting a Kids Earth Day Downtown where children can hear stories and do crafts to learn about the environment. To wrap up, the ninth Earth Day Celebration on April 26, which is working to restore the riparian environment at Dale Meadows Sports Park. See the full schedule of events at www.facebook.com/SummerlandEarthweek.
Change is made one step at a time, one act at a time.
Come out and be part of that movement.
Margaret Holler is one of the organizers of Earth Week in Summerland.