A day in the park

Reno’s favorite ecological event, Earth Day, encourages support for the planet

Jo Simpson of Econet with a collection of past years’ Earth Day posters.

Jo Simpson of Econet with a collection of past years’ Earth Day posters.


Nevada Econet can be found at www.nevadaeconet.org.
The complete schedule of Reno’s Earth Day can be found in the advertising supplement in this edition
Full Circle Compost and Whole Foods can be found at www.fullcirclecompost.com and www.wholefoodsmarket.com.
Reno Bike Project can be found at http://blog.renobikeproject.com.

Despite fears that the limping economy might put a damper on Reno’s Earth Day, Nevada Econet president Jo Simpson says the event will be bigger than ever. In fact, the group has been forced to turn away would-be exhibitors.

This Earth Day celebration, which will be held Sunday, April 25, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Idlewild Park, is Reno’s 21st and will feature 123 vendors and exhibitors.

According to their website, “Nevada EcoNet was organized in 1990 by a group of local citizens to organize the first Reno Earth Day Celebration. The Annual Earth Day Celebration brings the regional community together in one place to showcase the organizations, non-profits and government agencies working towards the goal of sustainable communities for the public.”

Simpson says this year’s event will feature an expanded children’s tent with hands-on activities to help kids better understand their relationship to the environment. Also expanded will be the farmers’ market that debuted last year. New this year will be a chance to turn in old electronic equipment and car batteries for recycling at the Reno High parking lot.

“It’s Earth Day. Ride your bike,” says Simpson. The Kiwanis Club will have a bike sale and swap, with bikes—and anything bike-related, including accessories, parts, attire—to be dropped off by 10 a.m. on the east end of the park. Items will be sold between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. with 10 percent of the proceeds going to Econet, 10 percent going to Kiwanis Club of Downtown Sparks’ Bike Program, and 80 percent going to the seller. Bikes can also be donated to Kiwanis to be refurbished for needy children in the community.

The Reno Bike Project will again offer free, secure valet service in which bikes, roller blades or skateboards can be dropped off at the California Building for the duration of the event.

This year’s affair focuses on practical education, and there will be a variety of demonstrations. Full Circle Compost and Whole Foods, for example, will demonstrate certain aspects of recycling and composting, including vermicomposting (worm composting).

All discarded material collected at the event, including compostable “plastic” serving ware—actually made from corn starch—will be disposed of through environmentally sensitive means by students from Mountain View Montessori

“The Mountain View Montessori School is doing our ‘waste station’ collection,” says Simpson. “They have trained the kids as to what items are compostable, which ones are going to be recyclable, and what’s just trash. Our goal at the Earth Day event is to make it as close to zero waste as possible, with as little as possible going to landfill.”

The musical lineup this year includes Paisley Braincells, Mojo Green, Weston Buck, Drinking with Clowns and Mark Sexton.