Earth Day festival coming to South Shore | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Earth Day festival coming to South Shore

The League To Save Lake Tahoe will be at the 2017 Earth Day festival, April 29, again this year to provide educational resources to fesival goers. The organization will also have volunteer opportunities in the upcoming weeks.

People all over the world will celebrate Earth Day — a day that serves to bring awareness to issues that are detrimental to the planet and provide opportunities for environmental stewardship — Saturday, April 22.

One week later on April 29, Tahoe's South Shore will celebrate with the South Tahoe Earth Day Festival at Bijou Community Park. The event, which will feature many local vendors and businesses that will help educate and provide resources to residents, opens at 10 a.m. and operations will end at 3 p.m. There will be info on recycling, composting, water conservation, alternative energy, sustainability and reducing carbon emissions.

In the spirit of Earth Day, several local organizations will have events and activities — many of which you can volunteer for — going on at the Earth Day celebration and in the coming weeks to help keep Lake Tahoe as pristine as possible.

The League To Save Lake Tahoe has had its hand in a lot of environmentally conscious activities over the past 60 years and this year is no different.

Even older than Earth Day itself, which turns 47 this year, the League To Save Lake Tahoe will get things kicked off Wednesday, April 19, with a community cleanup. Members and volunteers will meet in front of Base Camp Pizza at Heavenly Village, with the cleanup occurring from 9 a.m. to noon. Most materials will be provided, but coordinators encourage volunteers to bring a reusable water bottle and gloves.

According to the League, single use plastic bottles are the most common thing they encounter when cleaning up. "Cleanups are great for all ages," said Marilee Movius, community engagement manager for the League. "We provide education and collect data so volunteer support is essential in order to keep our shorelines clean. It's really cool to see people coming out, even if they're visiting here for one weekend."

If you can't make it to Wednesday's cleanup, the League and other organizations have plenty of other activities to volunteer for in the spring and at the Earth Day festival.

The League will have a booth to provide education and resources at the festival's "Kid Zone," which, among other things, will demonstrate how to take refuse materials and up-cycle them into art. On May 20 and 21, the league will have its 17th annual "Snapshot Day," where members and volunteers will collect water samples from all around the Tahoe watershed and Truckee to get a snapshot of water quality levels.

If you're looking for other opportunities to volunteer and get outdoors, the Sugar Pine Foundation will have some planting days coming up this spring. They will also be present at the Earth Day festival to educate, instruct and provide seeds. On Tuesday, April 25, Sugar Pine will have a planting at the Barton Skilled Nursing Facility. On May 13 and 17, the organization will host a planting in the area where the Emerald Fire occurred last year. "Planting season is starting," said Maria Mircheva, Sugar Pine Foundation executive director. "We are looking for more people and groups to plant."

The Tahoe Area Sierra Club Group will have staff at South Tahoe Earth Day to educate festival goers, but if you're more in the mood for something other than volunteering, they have you covered. The club encourages residents to think globally and resist locally at its interactive meeting to resist the erosion of environmental protections the group has worked for over the years. The event will be held Wednesday, April 26, at the North Tahoe Event Center from 6 to 8 p.m.

"We will discuss local issues and what's looming in the future for our exceptional Lake Tahoe-Truckee region," said Stephanie Wilson, Sierra Club Tahoe Area group chair. "We seek the active participation of members and non-members alike."

And lastly, if you really want to get in the Earth Day spirit, you can bike to South Tahoe Earth Day and leave your bicycle at the free valet service provided by the Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition. You can volunteer with LTBC, too, and help them set up and take down the racks and fencing for the valet area.

"We love to have volunteers help set up the portable racks and fencing in the morning between 9 to 10 a.m.," said Gavin Feiger, LTBC board member. "Park bikes, return them, and chat with bikers during the event, and take down the racks and fencing at the end of the day, around 3 p.m."

Contact bikevalet@tahoebike.org for more information. For information about the South Tahoe Earth Day festival, visit southtahoeearthday.org.