Green day

After pruning, Reno Earth Day grows over last year

“This is something Reno needs,” says Reno Earth Day organizer Heather Howell.

“This is something Reno needs,” says Reno Earth Day organizer Heather Howell.


For more information about Reno Earth Day 2013, visit

Reno Earth Day 2013 will have everything from snakes and ponies to solar power, electric cars and local art this year at Idlewild Park on April 21 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The event is organized by Heather Howell, Anastacia Sullivan and Todd Howell, who took over last year after the previous organizers disbanded and cancelled the event.

Heather Howell said that this year will have a lot of new things, and many of the smaller events that popped up last year after the centralized Reno Earth Day celebration was canceled will be consolidated again for this year’s celebration. The event will also be larger physically, taking up the entire park.

“Before there were so many people in a small area,” Heather said. “It was hard because some people want to lay their towels down and sit on the grass, and people were walking over them. By spreading it out, people still have space to do that, but people who are walking around all the booths don’t have to step on people.”

As part of the Earth Day Innovations aspect of the event, there will be a science fair that Washoe County high schools were invited to participate in. The prize for the science fair will be a laptop computer, which was donated to the event.

Also new to this year’s celebration will be dog daycare to try to avoid fines for having pets in the park during the event. Although pets will be not be allowed into the majority of the event, they will be allowed in the baseball field. Also in this area will be pony rides and other aspects of the Animalia portion of the event.

This is the fourth year that the Kiwanis Club of Downtown Sparks will have its Bike Swap and Sale at the event. This is one of the club’s biggest and best events of the year, according to Ellen Jacobson, the club’s vice president and special events coordinator.

The club will have about 100 bikes, used parts and repair stands with expertise in bike repair at the event. Community members will be able to buy, sell or swap bikes at the event. There is also the option to donate the bike to the club.

Jacobson said that Reno Earth Day is one of her, and the club’s, favorite events of the year and that Idlewild is a great venue for them.

“The number of people, the advocates for riding, and the general community support is outstanding,” Jacobson said. “Last year we moved to Sparks, and the camaraderie, the overall sentiment and the enthusiasm were so much less, it can’t be described. We’re glad to be back home in Idlewild Park.”

Heather also loves this event and believes that the community benefits immensely from it, which is why she and her colleagues decided to organize it these past two years.

“This is something Reno needs because it’s a bigger event for Reno and local businesses,” Heather said. “It would be more detrimental to the local economy to not have it than I think people think about. It brings in a lot of people from Fernley and outlying towns, and some of the local nonprofits get a lot of support at the event. It would definitely hurt a bunch of things if it didn’t happen.”