Earth Day 2009: A Snapshot
Sierra Clubbers from coast to coast and beyond rolled up their sleeves and participated in all manner of Earth Day activities and celebrations this year.
In Flagstaff, Arizona, Club organizer Andy Bessler, his son Noah, and Grand Canyon Chapter staffer Stacey Hamburg tabled at a Flagstaff Earth Day event, above and below, that drew an estimated 2,500 attendees.
Bessler also emceed the event, which featured four bands performing on a solar-powered sound stage. "Walking the talk in hosting this event was key," says Bessler, pictured below in black t-shirt with Noah.
Flagstaff Mayor Sara Presler challenged residents to support sustainability in the city. Bessler worked with volunteers from the City and the Sierra Club to organize seven service projects around town. "More than 125 people participated," Bessler says. "Each of them got a little seed packet with wildflowers that said, 'Thanks from Sierra Club and Native Plant and Seed.'"
Thousands of revelers, above, turned out in Luquillo, Puerto Rico, for the Fourth Annual Leatherback Turtle Festival. "Turnout was bigger than ever," says Puerto Rico Sierra Club organizer Camilla Feibelman. "We continue to promote the protection of the Northeast Ecological Corridor and appropriate development of Luquillo as a gateway community to the nature reserve."
As part of this year's festivities, seven students from New York City took an "Alternative Spring Break" to Puerto Rico courtesy of the Club's Building Bridges to the Outdoors program. The students and representatives from Sierra Club Productions attended the Turtle Festival and toured the Corridor.
"This whole week was a big success that we hope will help us meet the goal of leaving no child inside!" Feibelman says.
In Rapid City, South Dakota, the Club's Black Hills Group helped organize one of many cleanups of the city's public areas. Residents, including the four pictured below, collected trash from roadways, parks, and drainage ditches and filled up dumpsters the mayor's office had placed throughout the city. The local landfill also provided free disposal to people dropping off waste.
KNBN-TV news reported on the Black Hills Group's Earth Day Creek Clean-Up: "Members of the Sierra Club removed trash along Rapid Creek in Canyon Lake Park and the spill way. Heather Morijah, of the Sierra Club, says, 'The creek and the greenway are such an important part of the community, so many people enjoy it. They enjoy the park, the bike path, the creek itself. So I think it's really important for people to come out and participate once or twice a year to help keep that integral part of the community nice and clean.'"
Outings, too, were a big part of Earth Day. In the San Francisco Bay Area, the EcoMom Alliance celebrated with a hike through Tennessee Valley in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. "The weather was perfect, wildflowers were blooming, and everyone had a great time," says Club activist Jenny Coyle. The hike was organized in conjunction with the Sierra Club Trails online community.
Puerto Rico photos by F. Claudio. South Dakota photos by Heather Morijah.