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Pagosa Springs’ second annual Earth Day Celebration April 24

Earth Day 2010 is the 40th annual Earth Day. Founded by then U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson, April 22, 1970, was the first nationwide environmental protest. Twenty million Americans took to the streets to protest against oil spills, industrial pollution, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, loss of wilderness, and extinction of wildlife. Democrats and Republicans, rich and poor, city dwellers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders realized they shared common values.

The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts. Senator Nelson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor given to civilians in the United States, for his role as Earth Day founder.

We continue to work for a clean environment and for sustainable lifestyles and livelihoods. Once again, we are fighting for the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts. We are often frustrated or discouraged, but at the local level, we can all take positive steps and work together to build the world we want for ourselves and for our children.

Pagosa Springs’ second annual Earth Day Celebration takes place Saturday, April 24, at the Ross Aragon Community Center, 451 Hot Springs Blvd. Workshops and children’s activities will run from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m, including a lunch break catered by Tess Challis.

A complete workshop schedule will be available on site. Here is a taste of what to look forward to.

Jason Stuck of Growing Spaces will present a workshop on the Pagosa Nature School, a nature connection mentoring program he is running this spring and hopes to continue in the future.

Stuck also presents a workshop on bird language, listening to the concentric rings of nature and learning how to interpret bird behavior to gain a better understanding of what is happening in the forest.

Archuleta County Extension office and local growers present a three-part “Gardening for Dummies.” Bill Nobles, County Extension Agent, Kim Vernon of the County Extension Office, along with super gardener Ron Chacey and growing dome owner and grower Ilene Haykus will share knowledge on preparing soil, starting seeds, and choosing plants that grow best in our altitude and climate zone.

“Living simply so others may simply live.” Simplicity and sustainability go hand in hand. This SOS-sponsored workshop will focus on solutions for sustainability in our daily life. Voluntary simplicity began in the early ’80s and has been embraced by millions around the world. We Pagosans live here because it offers us an amazing place to simply live, and to live simply. Join us for this beginning; a circle of support for those interested in action “toward a way of life that is outwardly simple, inwardly rich,” as coined by Duane Elgin, author of “Voluntary Simplicity.” Workshop leaders are De Anna Hoyle, charter board member of SOS, and Kimberly Carroll, SOS member.

ECO CLEAN!, by Lynne Killey of Queen Bee Sauce. Come make green household cleaning products. Get recipes and information on simple cleaning solutions. If you bring a container (8-12 ounce jar), you will take home either a laundry additive, a homemade soft scrub like cleaner, or an all purpose dry shakable powdered cleaner. If you bring an empty 8-16 ounce spray bottle, you can make either an all purpose cleaner or wood cleaner. All the essential oils, materials and ingredients will be provided. Cost of the workshop is $10. You can purchase a container at the event for $2 if need be. Visit www.QueenBeePagosa.com or call Lynne at 731-3690 with any questions about the workshop.

Children’s activities will run concurrently with adult workshops, and are presented by Pagosa Waldorf Initiative, USDA Forest Service, Audubon Colorado, and Aikido of the San Juans.

At 10 a.m., Paulie Cole of Pagosa Waldorf Initiative will present a storytelling puppet show for 3-7 year-olds.

At 11, Beth Jones of the U.S. Forest Service Pagosa Ranger District and Becky Gillette of Audubon Colorado present Impact Monster! Plants, wildlife and other natural resources come to life in this interactive skit, helping children experience first-hand the impacts humans have on our environment. Audience members participate by playing roles to complete the skit, guided by a simple script. This activity helps children and their parents understand the impacts of human recreation and other activities on natural landscapes. The skit closes with ideas for how to minimize those impacts and tread more lightly on the earth. While the program is geared to elementary-aged children, all ages are welcome and encouraged to attend.

At 12:30 p.m., Lisa Jensen and Bill Trimarco of Aikido of the San Juans present The Universe Breathes, an earth connection activity for children age 5 and up, their parents and other adults. Aikido’s founder said, ”Those who practice the Art of Peace must protect the domain of Mother Nature, the divine reflection of creation, and keep it lovely and fresh. Everything — even mountains, rivers, plants and trees — should be your teacher.” Participants will learn breathing and blending exercises and basic body movements.

Parents who are participating in adult workshops can sign their children into the Kids’ Activity Room during the event.

E-Cycle happens one week earlier.

Did you know it is illegal for businesses, governments and schools to dispose of computers in the landfill? It can be difficult to refurbish or recycle them. On Friday and Saturday, April 16 and 17, the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce and Archuleta County join forces to host E-Cycle. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Chamber will collect electronic items for recycling. There is no charge to recycle small items such as a keyboard, mouse, cables, cell phone, CD player, Gameboy, inkjet cartridge, laptop battery or cell phone battery. Fees run from $5 for a CPU, desktop printer, scanner or fax machine to $25 for a television over 27 inches. Bring your electronic items to the Chamber, 402 San Juan St. For larger volumes, call Jennifer at the county, 264-5660, Ext. 221, to schedule an appointment and bring a detailed inventory to the event. Pagosa Springs E-Cycle is coordinated with a similar event in Durango the following weekend (April 24-25). For more information on E-Cycle, call the Chamber at 264-2360.

Come out and celebrate Earth Day with your community!

Pagosa Springs Earth Day 2010 Celebration is presented by SOS, the Southwest Organization for Sustainability. Visit www.sospagosa.org or e-mail christina@sospagosa.org for more information.