Summerland has taken on the Canada Earth Day challenge, Act for the Planet, in a big way this year.
For the fourth year in a row, Earth Day in Summerland will be celebrated all week.
“The goal of Summerland Earth Week is to get the whole community involved with environmental initiatives through education and action,” said Margaret Holler, one of the organizers. “From April 14 to April 21, we are offering a wide assortment of activities that will appeal to everyone, from special events and workshops to kid-friendly, hands-on activities, story telling, stream restoration, a panel discussion, a street festival, a film and much more.”
Earth Week starts on April 14 with a free workshop on water-smart methods of irrigating food gardens. Bring your boots and gloves to Grasslands Nursery and learn how to use drip irrigation to efficiently water your edibles. Sponsored by Toni Boot of Grasslands Nursery. To register, email email@example.com or call 250-494-4617.
On April 16, the public is invited to the free showing of the film, Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us?
The documentary investigates how widespread use of pesticides, monoculture or single-crop agriculture and industrialization have contributed to the decline of bee populations.
The theme, Farmland Forever: Preserving Land and Water for Food, is the topic of a panel discussion at the April 17 Philosophers’ Cafe.
“We have assembled a very impressive panel to lead off the conversation on water issues,” said Denise MacDonald, an organizer of the event. “Part of building a sustainable watershed plan is to bring the community as a whole into the conversation involving water issues.”
The panel consists of Dr. Norman Looney, principal scientist emeritus with the Research Branch of Agriculture and AgriFood Canada, Dr. Denise Neilsen of the Pacific Agriculture Research Centre and expert on climate change and Lorraine Bennest, a local orchardist and representative on the Okanagan Basin Water Stewardship council. Coun. Peter Waterman, a retired agrologist and orchardist, will moderate the event.
A mason bee hive building workshop for adults, sponsored by the Friends of the Summerland Ornamental Gardens, will be held on Thursday, April 18. “The bee hive building workshops will help members of the community learn about the value of the bee to our food production,” said Karen Nicols, a mason bee expert.
There will also be a drought tolerant tree tour at the gardens. To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The weekend is packed with activities starting on Friday afternoon with the unveiling of Summerland’s Electric Vehicle Charging Stations, followed by the downtown street festival. Main Street will be closed so the community can celebrate planet-friendly, family-friendly activities such as bicycle decorating, face painting, a senior and student wood making workshop, a recycled materials fashion show, street entertainers, live music and an eco-scavenger hunt.
There will also be eco information displays, farmers’ market vendors, a tree chipping demonstration and a bin for the community to bring their electronic wastes for recycling.
Saturday is family day with the Arts Council’s Imagination Station, a recycled arts project for kids of all ages.
There will be story telling about how bugs can save the earth and a youth theatre presentation about the three Rs. Kids will also have the opportunity to build a mason bee nest box and learn about the importance of pollinators.
The week culminates with the seventh annual Summerland Earth Day Celebration in Dale Meadows Park on Sunday, April 21. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., participants will get their hands dirty as they restore a section of Prairie Creek by planting native trees and shrubs, or they can participate in yellow fish storm drain paining.
“This is a great way to remind our community to think about water and bring awareness to improving water quality and protecting aquatic habitat,” said Lisa Scott of the Summerland Environmental Science Group and organizer of the event.
All Earth Week events are free.