Love Your Mother Earth
Celebrate Earth Day — and every day — by lending our planet a helping hand.
“We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”
– Ancient Proverb
April 22 marks the 47th anniversary of Earth Day, a day dedicated to environmental consciousness. The idea came about in 1970, during the upheaval incited by the prior year’s oil spill in Santa Barbara, when then-U.S. Senator from Wisconsin Gaylord Nelson decided there was a more positive way for protestors to channel their energy: by raising awareness instead of Cain. According to earthday.org, “20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies.” Groups that had protested against polluting factories, pesticides, freeways and the loss of wilderness lands, among other issues, came together over common values and demanded that these issues be put on the national political agenda. For decades, likeminded nature-lovers and activists have continued to fight for clean air, clean water, and for a more eco-minded future.
Amidst continuous man-created climate change, rising oceans and falling wildlife areas, fierce natural disasters and an even fiercer presidential administration that makes light of these very serious and real issues, it’s more important than ever that we each do our part to protect the only home we’ve got: Earth. This year, join a cause, dive into a beach cleanup, get digging at a park restoration project, and take advantage of free environmental education being offered through your local organizations. Most importantly, bring along your kids, or your kids’ kids, and foster their love of their natural surroundings so they’ll want to protect them. After all, they’ve “borrowed” the Earth from their future kids, too. Here are a few of the activities we’ll be taking part in on April 22.
“Earth Day at the Bay”
The best way to nurture appreciation for nature is to see it up close and connect. Newport Bay Conservancy and OC Parks host this 27th annual event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., welcoming all nature-lovers to a variety of activities including environmental exhibits, a scavenger hunt (for “kids” of all ages), wild-animal presentations, live music by singer-songwriter Danny Maika, science discovery booths (hosted by Pacific Marine Mammal Center, Seed OC, Sierra Club and others), arts and crafts, short environmental films, and more. Admission and parking are free, but you’ll need cash for food trucks, the gift shop, and a rain barrel distribution and opportunity drawing. For more information, call 949-923-2290 or visit newportbay.org.
From Farm to Film
In honor of Earth Day, the annual Newport Beach Film Festival will screen environmental films throughout the week, seeking to “raise awareness about important issues affecting our environment through cinema.” Focusing on such topics as sustainability, water quality, animal protection, and industrialized agriculture, films include “Code of Survival,” which follows researchers as they search for a viable organic alternative to harmful pesticides, and “Sonic Sea,” helping us to understand our impacts on the ocean’s sensitive inhabitants. For a complete schedule, visit newportbeachfilmfest.com/environmental.
Parks and Recreation
From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., make friends with other members of the community as you get your hands dirty to help clean up several areas of Crystal Cove State Park at its “Earth Day 2017” event. Projects include weeding, planting, mulching, trimming and watering in the colorful Historic District; painting curbs and repairing ramps; sanding and staining bulletin boards and monument signs; painting educational banners; and a beach cleanup. Park rangers recommend bringing sunscreen, water, a hat, and work gloves. Pack a lunch to enjoy at one of the park’s scenic picnic areas after you’ve worked up an appetite. Meet at the Los Trancos lot (Pacific Coast Highway and Los Trancos). For more information, call Winter Bonnin at 949-497-7647 or visit calparks.org/earthday.
Beauty and the Beach
Surfrider Foundation’s Newport Beach Chapter keeps the Earth Day momentum rolling with two monthly events: First Saturday Beach Cleanup and Help Your Harbor’s First Saturday Harbor Cleanup. The first is usually held from 9 to 11 a.m. at the beach off of Prospect Street and W. Oceanfront in Newport Beach (check surfrider.org to verify location and time), and aims to keep our sand and surf free of garbage, not only beautifying our beloved coastline, but also protecting the vulnerable marine life. Meet under the Blue Tent, where volunteers must sign a waiver before being handed a picker. Kids are welcome, but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Harbor cleanups start around the same time, starting from several locations on the Newport Bay, where volunteers use their own boats (if you don’t own a boat, rent one!) to pick trash from the water or collect it along the shore. Water shoes or rubber boots are recommended. For more information, visit helpyourharbor.com.