Southwest Organization for Sustainability announces schedule of Earth Day Week events


By Pauline Benetti

Special to The PREVIEW

This year, 2019, is the eighth anniversary celebration of Earth Day Week in Pagosa Springs.

Every year, the Southwest Organization for Sustainability (SOS) has promoted the celebration of Earth Day in our community, with individuals, organizations and businesses sponsoring appropriate activities during the week that includes Earth Day. Our community has always responded enthusiastically.

In addition, for the third year, SOS, in cooperation with the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association (PLPOA), has organized an Earth Day Fair to be held at the PLPOA Clubhouse and grounds. See schedule below for details.

The 2019 Earth Day theme is “Protect Our Species,” and on the Earth Day website,, we learn the following very sobering fact: “ We are amidst the largest period of species extinction in the last 60 million years. Normally, between one and five species will go extinct annually. However, scientists estimate that we are now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the normal rate, with multiple extinctions daily. Multiple species will disappear before we learn about them or the benefits they bring to our planet.”

To support the international theme, SOS will show a free screening of “Racing Extinction,” a powerful call to protect the Endangered Species Act— the strongest, most effective wildlife protection law in the world which, despite a 90 percent approval rating among Americans, has come under recent congressional attack.

This year, the week’s festivities stretch from last weekend’s Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership’s (GGP) Colorado Environmental Film Festival and the Mountain High Garden Club’s Expo (both of which were very successful) through to the Saturday fair on April 27, with Earth Day itself sort of in the middle on April 22.


Each year, the schedule of activities has grown. SOS is encouraged and happy to fulfill our part of the bargain — promotion of those activities.

Here are the activities that we know about as of press time. Quite possibly others will spring up. Check for latest information. Contact Holly Metzler at with questions.

The schedule follows:

Monday, April 22: Unitarian Universalist (UU) trash cleanup with Phyl Daleske. Meet at 10 a.m. at Pagosa UU Fellowship, Greenbriar Plaza, corner of North Pagosa Boulevard and Park Avenue.

Monday, April 22: “Racing Extinction,” free screening at PLPOA Clubhouse, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, April 23: GGP plant giveaway, Education Dome in Centennial Park from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Thursday, April 25: Ruby Sisson Library Lifelong Learning series will feature La Plata Electric Association’s (LPEA) Dan Harms and Dominic May on beneficial electrification and how to achieve LPEA’s carbon footprint reduction goal. Starts at 5 p.m.

Friday, April 26: Town of Pagosa Springs will host a tree planting in Yamaguchi especially for kids at 10 a.m.

Friday, April 26: MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary. Renia Pruchnicki, a MAPS ambassador, will give a virtual presentation about MAPS, a treaty proposed before the United Nations that declares the Arctic Ocean north of the Arctic Circle an international peace park, free from exploitation of all kinds, in perpetuity. Pagosa UU Fellowship, 6 p.m.

Saturday, April 27: PLPOA neighborhood trash pickup. Contact Jen Pitcher at PLPOA to sign up. Starts at 9 a.m.

Saturday, April 27: Earth Day Fair at PLPOA Clubhouse: includes community organizations and individuals involved in supporting our planet’s health with information, demonstrations and handouts; an EV (electric vehicle) on display in front of the building with opportunity for Q-and-A; PLPOA BBQ open to the public; live music by the Tyler Brandon Band at the gazebo down by the lake; and e-cycling. See list of items and fees on (limit of 27-inch TVs), 1 to 4 p.m.

There is something here for everyone. Especially for kids, we offer U.S. Forest Service activities, giant bubbles and painting rocks with Chance. Have fun and remember it’s Earth Day you are celebrating. What can you do to contribute?