Celebrate the planet this week

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By Special to the Monitor

Thursday, millions around the world will celebrate Earth Day. This year marks the event’s 40th anniversary.


The idea behind the day – honoring the planet and all living things that inhabit it – began during the early 1960s, as Earth Day bloomed into a grassroots cause that eventually culminated in the first official U.S. observance celebrated in 1970.

Earth Day is a time to make a community more environmentally conscious through recycling and other activities.  In Los Alamos, Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) has organized Earth Day activities for the past 10 years.  This year, the theme, “The Difference a Decade Makes” represents three aspects of the past decade: the establishment of PEEC, the recognition of a decade of changes since the Cerro Grande Fire and the tremendous outpouring of volunteerism in the past years with the development of the Volunteer Task Force and other organizations.  

This week, several Earth Day activities will take place.  

On Thursday, PEEC will have a talk by wildlife biologist Dr. Richard Reynolds.  The title of his talk is “Restoring Southwestern forests: goshawks, food webs and ecosystems.” Reynolds is from the Rocky Mountain Research Station in Fort Collins, Colo.  His talk will be at 7 p.m. at the Bradbury Science Museum. Come earlier and view forest dwelling owls being rehabilitated by the Santa Fe Raptor Center and enjoy a reception.  

On Saturday, the big event is the Earth Day Festival from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at PEEC on Orange Street.  Clan Tynker will entertain the crowd at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.  At 12:30 p.m., there will be a dedication of the ground for the Butterfly Garden being planned by the Kinnikinnick Club. Food, displays, earth-friendly items, animals and much more will be featured at the event.  

There is no parking at the center, so park at Los Alamos High School near Duane Smith Auditorium and ride the Atomic City Transit shuttle to the festival.

Finally, at 4 p.m. Sunday, there will be a festive birthday party for PEEC in celebration of the last 10 years of service to the community and to environmental education. The menu is being prepared by Board Member Felicia Orth.  

There will be a recognition of founders, a program called Earthwords and an auction of services by various experts – everything from bird walks to a tasty meal called “The Taste of India.”  Everyone is invited, and tickets can be obtained at PEEC by calling 662-0460.  

In addition to the events at PEEC, Mesa Public Library is hosting a display called “Touched By Fire: Hands that Help, Hands that Create”  that run through April 30 in the upstairs gallery.