In what would be its 27th anniversary event, the organizers behind Clark Public Utilities’ StreamTeam Earth Day Fest faced a serious dilemma — how to, in the midst of an ongoing pandemic, keep a community tradition not just alive, but exciting, inspiring and safely socially distant for those who’d participate?
Never to be daunted by challenge, the Clark Public Utilities StreamTeam reimagined this year’s Earth Day Fest into a community event that will bring everyone together while staying safely apart as we celebrate and care for our local landscape.
“Planning for Earth Day Fest started several months ago and we went into those discussions with the goal of making this year’s event both virtual and one that folks would remember,” said Maddy Loy, StreamTeam program coordinator. “Laying that foundation early on enabled us to get creative and really explore new possibilities for something that has become a favorite seasonal event for many in Clark County.”
Over the years, Earth Day Fest evolved from a modest morning of tree-planting into a community tradition that drew hundreds of volunteers to weed pulls, trash pickups and tree planting restoration events, as well as numerous community partners and thousands of visitors to its family friendly festival at Salmon Creek Regional Park.
“To help our community remember the joys of an in-person Earth Day and find their own connection to the environment, we’ve paired this year’s event with a combination of live demonstrations and story time videos, and a menu of self-led, at-home actives that participants can do on their own time,” Loy said. “People who submit photos of themselves participating in an Earth Day event will be entered into prize raffles.”
This year’s virtual event starts at 9 a.m. April 24 with an environmental story time for all elementary and middle school-aged kids presented by Will Hornyak, hosted in partnership with Clark County Clean Water. He’ll be back again to read another story at 1 p.m. Every child that attends a story time will be entered to win a gift basket from Literary Leftovers and Kazoodles Toy Store.
At 10 a.m. in a prerecorded presentation, Rachel Weaver from SCRAP will present a creative reuse project that will teach you how to turn a plastic bottle into a cute planter. Attendees will be entered to win a prize from Columbia River Coffee.
At 11 a.m., Brandon Burger of the Backyard Bird Shop will teach us about supporting local bat and bird populations. Registrants can pick up bird and bat house kits and detailed plans ahead of time and assemble them while he teaches us how to turn our backyards into sanctuaries for our feathered friends. The first 20 participants to register will be provided with materials available for pick-up as well as entered in a raffle to win a bird feeder so your backyard can become a healthy habitat of its own.
At 2:30 p.m., chef Miguel Soto, the mastermind behind Elements Restaurant in downtown Vancouver, will show us how to craft an incredible dish using local and seasonal ingredients, in a way, to reduce food waste and make your taste buds sing for spring. If you’re interested in cooking along, you can also purchase or procure ingredients ahead of time from a list curated by Chef Miguel. Attendees will be entered to win a box of seasonal veggies and a bouquet from Sprout and Blossom Farm.
To register for the event and receive links to the videos, visit rb.gy/xjuzqp, or go to Eventbrite.com and search “StreamTeam Earth Day Fest 2021.”
Rather spend your Saturday out in the sunshine? Check out StreamTeam’s list of Earth-friendly activities that you can do starting April 22 for a chance to win one of many prizes donated by the incredible local businesses supporting the event. Visit streamteam.net for the full list. Email or share a picture of your accomplishments to the Clark Public Utilities Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #EarthDayFest2021 to enter and winners will be announced and contacted April 29.
Energy Adviser is written by Clark Public Utilities. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Energy Adviser, c/o Clark Public Utilities, P.O. Box 8900, Vancouver, WA 98668.