Earth Day ‘coming up fast’

Plans are afoot for a big celebration on Earth Day, April 22, as the Sustainability Commission and Rossland REAL Food team up for a chicken crawl and an “earth walk” at 1 p.m., an expo of demonstrations and performances at the Miners’ Hall from 3 to 5:30 p.m., and a vegetarian community potluck into the evening.

“It’s coming up fast,” said Lea Thuot, manager of the Sustainability Commission.

“This is a great opportunity for locals to come out and find out what neat initiatives are going on in the community to make us greener,” said Rachael Roussin of Rossland REAL Food.

The festivities began with a 1:30 p.m. departure of chicken crawlers and earth walkers from the Miners’ Hall. Crawlers will check out coops around town while earth-walkers head out with the Kootenay-Columbia Trail Society for a hike. Both groups will return by 3 p.m., just in time for the expo.

While the kids in Terry Marshall’s MacLean choir polish up some songs for a 4:30 performance, and other MacLean students work on art and projects to present at the expo, many other individuals and businesses are coming out to give interactive demonstrations from worm composting and solar power to raising baby chicks and installing electric fence.

Geologist Agathe Bernard, an environmental scientist with SNC Lavalin, will get everyone’s hands in the dirt to learn about minerals, soil formation, and fixing ecological problems while Fortis BC will wow us with their electric bike light.

Friends of the Rossland Range will be on hand to talk about their tenure plans in our local hills, and other nifty projects like “Trax for Tracks” and Streamkeepers.

Prevent Cancer Now will have a display about pesticides, alternatives for lawn maintenance and home gardening, and will no doubt have some words to say about the city’s so-far failed attempts to ban cosmetic chemicals.

When the dust settles on the straw bales and compost that REAL Foodies will be selling as a fundraiser, it’ll be time to dig into a delicious spread of vegetarian meals.

Thuot said, “everyone’s invited to the community potluck. People can bring their dishes any time after 5 p.m. We’re requesting that they be vegetarian,” she said, namely without dairy or eggs. To help people with more restrictive diets, it would also be useful if people make it known if their dishes are vegan, gluten-free, or made without nuts.

There will hopefully be live music, and Thuot is still open to any and all musicians who would like to “play for the planet,” even if just a few songs.

For more info as the event evolves over the next week, visit Thuot said, “Don’t forget to mention that it’s free and fun!”

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