Earth Day Napa | Sunday, April 23 | Oxbow Commons | 11am-4pm
By Craig Smith
At this point, we all get it – the planet is in trouble, and needs our help. Desperately. The problem is trying to figure out what we as individuals can do about it. “City leadership is supporting Napa achieving net zero climate pollutants from public and private operations within the city by 2030,” said Erin Perna. “But what can local residents do to help?”
Perna is with the Environmental Education Coalition of Napa County (EECNC), the group that hosts Napa’s Earth Day Celebration. “At this year’s Earth Day event, we are going to showcase climate actions that everyone can take, so that we can achieve the 2030 goals the City of Napa has set.” She adds, “Whether you’re a homeowner or a renter, rely on a car or bicycle for transportation, there are steps you can take to make a meaningful difference. Effective change starts with each individual, because as cliche as it is, together we can make a difference,” said Perna.
This year’s Earth Day Napa Celebration is Sunday, April 23 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Oxbow Commons, and the theme is “Inspiring Change Makers.” This is by no means a dry, stuffy, preachy event. While attendees will have the chance to learn more about alternative energy, supporting local agriculture, watershed health, pollution prevention and more – fun is a key element of the day. Live performances begin at 11:00 a.m. and continue till 4:00 p.m. People of Earth and the Laura T Lewis Band will both be performing. Delicious local food, beer and wine will be available. Additionally, there will be interactive booths with games and crafts, activities for all to enjoy. As always, admission is free.
Originally, this was more of a ‘table-only’ affair, but after a few years, the organizers decided to add entertainment. “We want people to walk away with tools they can use to support the planet, but we want them to have a fun and memorable experience as well,” said Perna.
The sales of beverages have also made this a money-making event. Beer and wine are donated by local breweries and wine is provided by Napa Green certified wines. All of the proceeds from those sales fund the Field Trip Bus Grant program run by the Environmental Education Coalition of Napa County (EECNC). EECNC funds field trips for Napa County students to visit sites such as Skyline Park, Connolly Ranch, Carolyn Parr Nature Center and Bothe State Park where they can gain an appreciation of the local environment. Proceeds also support the Darcy Aston Environmental Advocacy Scholarship, which is awarded to a local high school student who is planning to pursue a career in environmental sciences.
Ride your bicycle to the Oxbow Commons and take advantage of free bicycle valet parking, provided by the Napa Bicycle Coalition. To keep in the spirit of the day and to help organizers achieve their goal of being a zero-waste event, bring your water bottles and stop by the Water Bar filling station.
And don’t miss the pre-party. Over the years, an increasingly popular aspect to the celebration is the Earth Day Community Cleanup, organized by Napa RCD, which runs from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. “We had 250 participants at the 2022 Cleanup,” said Ashley Kvitek, who has organized the cleanup for the past four years. “People should bring gloves, a bucket and sturdy footwear that can get dirty.” Those wishing to help on the water can bring their canoes and kayaks, and meet at Kennedy Park. Although some of the stuff people will pick up can be muddy, it’s mostly manageable. “People are much more responsible with their large waste items, and now our main focus is micro trash – those little bitty pieces of plastic that look like fish food when they make it to the river.”
The first Earth Day in the country was held in 1970, in response to several environmental catastrophes, particularly the Santa Barbara oil spill and the Cuyahoga River fires of 1969. Many Americans felt it was time to take a more active approach in the stewardship of the planet.
For more information on the event, visit earthdaynapa.com