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What an Earth Day!

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PEEC celebrates 10 years of Earth Day activities

By Carol A. Clark

More than 1,000 people are expected to participate this weekend in the Pajarito Environmental Education Center’s (PEEC) 10th annual Earth Day.

Eco Station tours, a talk on Charles Darwin, Saturday’s Earth Day Festival and giant garage sale were all activities included in this year’s event.

This is the fourth year PEEC board member Peter O’Rourke has chaired the event. “We’re getting pretty good at it,” O’Rourke said. “Things went very smooth this year and we had a record number of 36 exhibitors this year.”

Board Vice President Becky Shankland is a PEEC co-founder along with President Chick Keller.

“Earth Day is an important reminder that for the survival of the planet, we need to learn how to live in a more sustainable way,” Shankland said. “But we also need to learn to enjoy the beautiful world we live in. Living environmentally should also be a pleasure and PEEC wants to help.”

This year’s Earth Day theme,  “Tree of Life,” is intended to bring attention to the importance of conservation, on this bicentennial year of the birth of Charles Darwin.

The Tree of Life metaphor was used by Darwin, who perceived unity in life, with all organisms related through descent from an ancestor that lived in the remote past.

PEEC invited the public this Earth Day to join in honoring Charles Darwin, celebrating the diversity of life, and contemplating one’s role in preserving the Earth’s biodiversity.

“PEEC has evolved into a very youth oriented and Earth friendly organization and I’m proud to do the announcing for today’s festival,” County Council Vice Chair Michael Wismer said. “My hope is the county will become even more involved in partnerships, such as the light bulb exchange distribution and energy conservation areas. In my opinion, PEEC is a great addition to this community and I intend to support its fundraiser dinner Sunday at Central Avenue Grill.”

This year’s Earth Day Festival featured displays by community groups of earth-friendly products and practices and information about the environment on the Pajarito Plateau.

Renaissance entertainment group, Clan Tynker performed, sponsored by the Los Alamos National Bank. Dee Morrison conducted children’s sing-alongs of nature songs.

A dedication was held at noon Saturday of PEEC’s new Nature Trail as part of the Los Alamos 60th Anniversary celebration.

Today from 5-8 p.m., PEEC is holding its “Party for PEEC & Auction of Guided Outings and More” fundraiser at Central Avenue Grill.

Funds raised at the dinner will be reinvested in enriching and exciting programs for children of all ages, as well as, help to keep the doors to the Nature Center open and free to the public five days a week.

The nature center at 3540 Orange St., is open to the public noon-4 p.m. Tuesday–Friday and 10 a.m.-1p.m. Saturday.

For information access www.pajaritoeec.org or call 662-0460.

Contact Carol A. Clark at lanews@lamonitor.com or 662-4185 ext. 25. Read her blog at www.newsextras.wordpress.com.