Earth Day activities shaping up |

Earth Day activities shaping up

After 37 years, Earth Day is still going strong around the globe, and in Nevada County several events are planned ranging from spiritual slide shows to ski village parties.

Earth Day was started on April 22, 1970, by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin in response to environmental degradation that galvanized activists at that time. Today, more than half a billion people and national governments in 175 countries recognize the day, considered the largest secular holiday in the world, according to the Earthdaynetwork Web site at

A number of events are planned to celebrate.

Don Baldwin treasured a healthy environment long before Earth Day became an event. He served as the resident minister at Yosemite National Park during the 1960s and gave regular Sunday sermons at the top of North Star in Truckee wearing ski pants under his robes.

Last weekend he spent his days skiing his familiar stomping grounds in the Yosemite Valley, snapping dramatic photos of El Capitan and Half Dome for a slide show he will present on Earth Day.

“I always thought the church should be at the forefront of environmental issues. We’ve abused the Earth rather than used the Earth wisely,” said Baldwin, who led Vietnam War protests in Kansas after his years in Yosemite and has shown slide presentations for years.

Sierra College

Earth Day festivities in the county will begin at the Nevada County Campus of Sierra College, which will hold its second annual Earth Day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, April 18 and 19.

Organic Flood and Spirit Drums will give live performances along with poets, speakers and a fashion show with garments made out of recycled materials by Haute Trash. Organic food will be served and visitors can read up on sustainable food practices, alternative based fuels, climate changes, population growth and many other environmental issues at informational booths.

Center for the Arts

The Center for the Arts will hold its second annual “Inspirations from the Forest” fundraisers for school art and nature programs from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 19 and a literary and performing arts event on Friday, April 20.

American River Cleanup

On Saturday, April 21 a state park cleanup along the American River will take place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Participants will meet at the Old Foresthill Bridge located on Old Foresthill Road, just off Highway 49 where the North Fork and Middle Fork American Rivers meet. Volunteers will assist with river and park cleanup, graffiti removal and installation of information kiosks and iron rangers. Wear layers, long pants, gloves and sun protection.

Yosemite slide show

On Earth Day, Sunday, April 22, the Rev. Baldwin will hold two morning worship slideshows with live traditional music at 9 a.m. and contemporary music at 10:30 a.m. at Nevada City’s United Methodist Church, 433 Broad St.

The slide shows will include Baldwin’s private collections of Yosemite, coastal and other American landscapes, and a non-religious show will feature John Muir readings at 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. The event is sponsored by Earth Justice Ministries and will include children’s activities from noon to 5 p.m. and a free luncheon from noon to 1 p.m.

Squaw Valley party

Squaw Valley’s Earth Day Festival in “the village” will take place Saturday, April 28 and feature a Patagonia Wild and Scenic Film Festival, 12 bands on three stages, speaker forum, Haute Trash fashion show and an eco-parade featuring crafts made from recycled materials. The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and last year drew more than 5,000 people.

Loma Rica Ranch

On Sunday, April 29 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. a free event with ecological displays, non-profit and Earth-friendly vendors, food and kids crafts, poets, speakers and live music will take place at Lake MacBoyle at Loma Rica Ranch.


To contact Staff Writer Laura Brown, e-mail laurab@theunion .com or call 477-4231.

Earth Day events

For more information about Earth Day events on the weekend of April 22, here is contact information:

• Sierra College Earth Day, contact the Sierra College Campus Life Coordinator, Carol Cox, at 274-5291.

• Haute Trash Fashion Show,

• Auburn State Recreation Area River Clean-up, contact Bill Deitchman at 823-4164 or

• Inspirations from the Forest, contact Executive Director Krista Thomas at 274-8384.

• Tahoe Truckee Earth Day Festival contact Nichole Dorr at or 582-2909.

• Loma Rica Ranch, festival.htm or call Beth at 263-5344.

– Laura Brown

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