Earth Day Celebration Encourages Education and Awareness about Sustainability

Fierce Bad Rabbit to play at Earth Day 2011 event

By Lindsay Nichols

In 2010, the Fort Collins Earth Day Celebration didn’t happen. Lucky for all of the tree-huggers out there, it’s back this year!
In the past, Earth Day was an event that was put on by a student group and held at City Park. This year, it will be taken over by none other than the well-seasoned folks at the Rocky Mountain Sustainable Living Association (RMSLA), and will be held on April 23 from 10am – 6pm at Civic Center Park in downtown Fort Collins.

The RMSLA is experienced in putting on Earth-friendly events like the annual Sustainable Living Fair, and this event fits right in with their mission to educate people and communities in the Rocky Mountain region about healthy sustainable choices and lifestyles.

RMSLA Executive Director Kellie Falbo is excited about the 2011 Fort Collins Earth Day celebration.

“We saw the need to come in and fill the gap, work with the City, and put our collective energy toward putting on a great event,” she says. “The City has been very supportive of reinvigorating Earth Day in town,” she continues.

The celebration will be free to the public (please bring a nonperishable donation for the Food Bank) and will feature activities and events for the entire family, including informational booths, live music, speakers, arts & crafts, local food and a beer garden.

Fort Collins is no stranger to preserving the environment and supporting sustainable choices. The community is incredibly focused on “green” events, practices, and businesses. Even so, when it’s out of sight, it can be out of mind, which is why events like Earth Day are so important.

“Earth Day encourages and inspires community members to honor the Earth every day,” Falbo says.

Earth Day will be packed with fun – starting at 10:45am, the sounds of Civic Center Park will be filled with “Harp Music for the Earth,” played by Michael Riversong.

Throughout the day, the music and keynote speakers will continue. Headlining the music stage at 4:15pm is local band Fierce Bad Rabbit, who are known for indie pop music with a hook and a heart. Since their formation in 2009 they’ve made quite a name for themselves in the local music scene and beyond – they recently returned from the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. Fans old and new will enjoy this entertaining set.

In the afternoon, Dr. John Fitch, President of the Sustaining Tomorrow Today Institute, will be speaking about opportunities for sustainability and preserving the Earth for tomorrow’s children. His presentation is titled “Building a Sustainable Bridge to the Future for Our Species and Our Planet.” Dr. Fitch is incredibly passionate about Earth Day and sustainable living practices, and has learned to practice what he preaches.

“I personally have grown to appreciate the emotional, spiritual, and intellectual satisfaction of adopting sustainable living practices and learning from nature in the process,” he says. “Earth Day is a time to celebrate and also a time to rededicate our efforts to build a sustainable future for that narrow ring of life on Earth, and, in so doing, to build a sustainable future for our species as well.”

The Fort Collins Earth Day festivities aren’t limited to the celebration in Civic Center Park. On Earth Day proper (April 22), the Fort Collins Food Co-op on East Mountain Avenue will be hosting a free Earth Day event from 1 – 6pm with booths, family activities, and music. This is a great opportunity to kick off the weekend by supporting local farmers and sustainable business.

April showers bring May flowers, so they say. But even if Mother Nature blesses us with some of the moisture we so desperately need on April 23, the show will go on – the Earth Day celebration will take place rain or shine.

There’s no doubt that folks will still come out to celebrate and, in the words of Falbo, “to make efforts toward conservation and preservation of our wondrous planet for current and future generations.”

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