Earth Day 2023: A day for some, a way of life for others
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The melting snow couldn’t stop the annual festivities for Earth Day 2023. Lake Tahoe Community College stepped up to provide space for the event, typically held across the street at Bijou Park, and was hosted by South Tahoe Public Utility District.
Despite scattered piles of snow, picture perfect spring weather set the stage where 43 stations set up in the college parking lot provided learning opportunities, prizes and free fun for families, locals and visitors of all ages.
“This is the first year that LTCC has hosted Earth Day,” said LTCC Director of Marketing and Communications Diane Lewis.
According to Visit Lake Tahoe the South Lake Tahoe Earth Day Festival in years past has been one of the largest volunteer-run, environmental, educational and nonprofit events hosted in the region.
No matter if the individuals had been in the basin for a short time or a lifetime, there was something for everyone.
Bryce Musante, born and raised in South Lake Tahoe, said he brings his family every year as it provides opportunities to learn about the various environmental issues that affect South Lake Tahoe and how to help sustain its beauty.
Earth Day is a way of life for new resident Kim Campbell, who told the Tribune she was ecstatic to see an event being promoted around town.
“I try my very best to be low waste year round, my main purpose is to learn composting. I really want to learn how to compost food waste,” Campbell said.
Misael Uribe and Christy Smithmier with South Tahoe Refuse provided chances to stamp a small tree slice to take home while providing education on proper recycling and waste practices.
There was plenty of fun in the sun, food, art, drum circles and games with serious messaging to educate, all in the name of sustainability.
“Be #1 at picking up #2,” Take Care Tahoe‘s messaging urges dog owners to pick up eliminated waste while enjoying the great outdoors. Kids were drawn to poop stickers and temporary tattoos and a game of ring toss with a toilet seat and poop emoji plushies substituting the normal ring and bean bags.
Some other vendors set up included Keep Tahoe Blue, Washoe Tribe representatives, Blissful Wild Art, and Smokey The Bear were spotted among the farmers market style event.
Utility expert of Great Basin Gas Transmission Company, Ronnie Wyman, joined Southwest Gas representatives reminding folks to “know what’s below, call 811 before you dig.”
Wyman said, “It’s the law, and if you hit a line but you have approval to dig, you’re still responsible for any damages that may occur.”
He added there are many utilities lines that run underground, crews use different colors to mark each when they come out to assess “what’s below.”
The event is annually hosted by Tahoe Earth Day Foundation, a nonprofit. The planning committee for the South Tahoe festival consists of South Tahoe Public Utility District, South Tahoe Refuse, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, League to Save Lake Tahoe, United States Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, Heavenly Mountain Resort and Lake Tahoe Unified School District, according to STPUD Director of Pubic and Legislative Affairs Shelly Thomsen.
“We will host the annual festival again next year, date and location to be determined,” Thomsen told the Tribune.
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