Start Earth Week with ‘One Big Family’

We often take advantage of the many natural amenities we have at our disposal. However, without consideration, our natural resources may be severely limited for use by future generations.

On April 22, 1970, Sen. Gaylord Nelson created a nationwide grassroots forum on issues concerning the environment — ideas that had been germinating since 1962. This forum was in stiff competition with controversy over the war in Vietnam and the demonstrations at the time; however, the concept has taken hold and now, 39 years later, Earth Day is a national institution.

Pagosa embraces Earth Day 2009 with many activities April 16-25, with the Southwest Organization for Sustainability (SOS) leading the efforts.

Here is a synopsis of events:

April 16: The new Geothermal Greenhouse ribbon cutting and groundbreaking ceremony behind the county courthouse at noon.

April 18: Native plant seedling project with Pagosa Waldorf Initiative.

April 19: Clothing Swap at Libby’s in the Quaking Aspen from 1:30-4:30 p.m., the Language of Tracking (limit 15 people with R.S.V.P), and the Downtown Community Garden with Margaret Burkesmith.

April 22: Colorado Audubon Society Earth Day Birding at the Hershey Ranch (limit 25 people with an R.S.V.P.), Growler Amnesty at Pagosa Brewery.

April 24: Eco-justice activist Van Jones DVD lecture at the Universalist Unitarian meeting room at 6:30 p.m., and Wild Creatures in your backyard at the Sisson Library for third- to sixth-graders with Gretchen Lamar from the Durango Nature Studies.

The big festivities then take place April 25 at the community center with SOS-sponsored Earth Day Celebrations. From 9 a.m. to noon, more than 15 local groups and non-profits will offer free workshops for adults and children. The SOS Web site, www.sospagosa.org and The PREVIEW Calendar section in this week’s SUN are the best places to view the schedule details.

‘One Big Family’

Gather round the tables, take time for some lively conversation, and experience the “pass the potatoes” feeling as “One Big Family” Seeds of Learning dinner and silent auction takes place Saturday, April 18.

A family-style dinner will be served. A highlight of the evening will be the “Very Little Entertainment” featuring the children from the Seeds of Learning. The event is being held at the community center, beginning at 5:30 p.m. There will also be a silent auction with the opportunity to garner some wonderful gifts for others or yourself.

Tickets are $35 each and may be purchased at the Chamber, Switchback Mountain Wear and Seeds of Learning. More information can be obtained by calling Seeds at 264-5513.

Lake Capote opens

Just 18 miles away, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Lake Capote will open for the summer season today, April 16. The initial days of operation will be Thursday through Sunday, with fishing from sunrise to sunset. The campground will open on May 14 and will stay open until Sept. 7.

Springs Strings concert

Classical music comes early to Pagosa with a benefit concert on Thursday, April 30, with performances by students who have been recipients of Music in the Mountains conservatory scholarships. This Springs Strings Benefit Concert features students of the violin, viola and cello. The Pagosa Springs Youth String Orchestra will give their debut performance at the St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church on South Pagosa Boulevard, beginning at 7 p.m.

A highlight of the evening here in Pagosa is that the Fiore String Quartet will be made available to the highest bidder for a private musical function — the event awarded in a silent auction.

Tickets for the event are only $10 for adults and $5 for students 15 and under. Beverages and hors d’oeuvres will be served following the performance.

Last-minute reminders

The Archuleta Economic Development Association will host its fourth annual membership meeting Friday, April 17, at Centerpoint Church, starting at 11 a.m.

With the economic climate the way it is, this is a very important meeting to attend, as a panel of economic experts will take the stage. Dr. Richard Wobbenkind with the Colorado Office of Economic Development, Clarke Becker with the Colorado Rural Development Association, and Joe Keck with Fort Lewis College Small Business Development Association will sit on the panel and are ready to answer your questions and give insights into how you can be profitable in these uncertain economic times and what we can do as a community to ensure we continue to have a thriving economy. AEDA will unveil their economic business plan and lunch will be provided by Colorado Cowboy Catering. Tickets are $55 for AEDA members and $60 for non-members. Businesses can sponsor a table for $300. For more information, call Bart Mitchell at 731-1443.

The April Business Bites luncheon will take place on Tuesday, April 21. This luncheon will be held at Boss Hogg’s on Tuesday, April 21, at noon. While walk-ins are always welcome, an R.S.V.P. would be nice, so we can give the restaurant a “heads up” on the lunch count. Lunch is $12 for members and $15 for non-members and a choice of entrees, non-alcoholic beverage, tax and gratuity is included in the cost.

Membership news

We shave a number of renewals this week: Archuleta School District 50 JT; Appraisal Services, Inc. with owner Jessie Formwalt; the Branding Iron restaurant; Scott Tonges with Southwest Property Trust; the Kiwanis Club; Community Connections; and the Strater Hotel in Durango.