It’s home

No matter where we live, we all share one home.

Earth Day was celebrated around the world on April 22. Bass Lake Unified School District students joined in the celebration by attending the sixth annual area event, sponsored by Oakhurst Feed & Pet Supply.

Informational booths included PG&E passing out small plastic company safety helmets and giving tips on planting the right tree in the right place. The Yosemite National Park educational booth hung a colorful interactive poster board.

Keep Our Mountains Beautiful (KOMB) members, dressed in brightly colored tee-shirts (with the slogan: ‘Pick-up and pitch in. We all win.’) held little competitions using trash grabbers to pick up crushed cans and plastic bottles. The students also created bits of artwork using plastic bottle caps and buttons.

Oakawahnee Ranch Alpacas Thyoga (Thunder) and Pu-Hub-Ich (Bear in the Mono language) watched the activities from the safety of their pen. Alpacas, covered with fiber five times stronger and five times warmer than wool, are ecosystem friendly, and are selective grazers with low nutrient requirements. Some countries have even considered using alpacas for land management and fire control in national parks.

Keynote speaker, Ashley Smith of Emadco, emphasized curbside recycling. Other speakers focused on reducing water usage along with recycling in the home, animal care, and sustainability.

“It’s essential to teach children about conservation during their formative years,” Oakhurst Feed & Pet Supply owner Colette Goga said. “I’d love to see the next generation improve the health and well being of this earth, and all the creatures living within it. The best way to assure that kind of care for our planet in the future is to teach children early.”

“We only have one earth,” echoed parent Natasha Brooks, “and we have to take care of it. Recycling is very important, and this shows the kids how to care for our earth while they’re still young.” Her 18-month-old son, Louie, an on-and-off again napper, shared his stroller with his PG&E helmet.

“As part of the first grade team at Oakhurst Elementary School, I enjoy taking our students to the Earth Day celebration, sponsored by Oakhurst Feed,” first grade teacher Christy Newell said. “It’s important to teach children how to take care of the Earth, and this day helps remind us to keep our planet healthy and clean.”

Kopi Sotiropulos, well-known KMPH Fox 26 news anchor, was a special guest at the event.

“It’s important to teach kids at young ages to take care of our planet,” he said, “... to do the best we can with the things we can control to create a safer and better place for all of us to live.”

The Earth Day idea came about following a 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara. Each year, the momentum has grown, and today, more than one billion people in 190 countries do their part to promote a healthy, sustainable environment.

“I’ve been waiting for Earth Day,” Wasuma first-grader Jovi Mendez said. “It’s my favorite holiday.” When asked why, Mendez simply replied “because mostly everyone is happy.”

Her classmate, Cameryn Sanchez chimed in, saying, “Earth Day is good because of picking up trash, and planting trees and flowers.”

Sotiropulos taped the enthusiastic young crowd, which aired during Great Day programming last Monday on KMPH.