Bayview Corner celebrates Earth Day 2009

Participants gather for the annual peace sign photo, a tradition at the Earth Day celebration at Bayview Corner.   - David Welton / Record file photo
Participants gather for the annual peace sign photo, a tradition at the Earth Day celebration at Bayview Corner.
— image credit: David Welton / Record file photo

This is the green generation and the message is clear.

Lessen this country’s dependence on fossil fuels. Or else.

April 22 is Earth Day, which will celebrate its 40th anniversary next year.

There is even a campaign called the “Green Generation” and, with negotiations for a new global climate agreement coming up in December, the organizers at Green Generation say Earth Day 2009 must be a day of civic commitment to get the word out to the world on two ideas:

— End the common dependency on fossil fuels for a carbon-free future based on renewable energy.

— Every individual’s commitment to responsible and sustainable living.

People all over the world, including President Obama, are calling for the creation of a new green economy that lifts people out of poverty by creating millions of quality, green jobs and espouses a global green education system.

But that education has to start at home.

Whidbey Islanders are answering the president’s call with the third annual Earth Day festival at Bayview Corner from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 19.

Earth Day celebrations broaden the base of support for environmental programs and rekindle a commitment and activism through local educational events and activities.

That activism is evident at Bayview where every year the festival is made possible by the volunteer efforts and talents of almost 100 members of the South Whidbey community.

Artists, scientists, educators, activists, inventors, healthcare professionals, poets, musicians and even a kindergarten choir will join together on this day to donate their talents and time.

The Earth Day Festival features keynote speaker Robert Gilman talking about “Sustainable Living in Community.”

Gilman is co-author of “Eco-Villages and Sustainable Communities” and founded the Context Institute, one of the earliest organizations to focus on sustainability.

He is currently a member of the city council of Langley and serves as editor of the online “In Context: A Quarterly of Humane Sustainable Culture.”

Also happening on Earth Day is “Celebrating our Earth with Art,” an art show by community members of all ages, disciplines and artistic experience that will be on display in the Cash Store April 17 to 26.

Gather in the Bayview courtyard at 12:30 p.m. during the celebration for the annual peace sign photo and then, get ready to sing.

The music stage at Earth Day will feature a special tribute to Woody Guthrie with local musicians Chenjera Marimba, Timothy Hull, Joni Takanikos, Erik Christensen, Don Bille, Drew Kampion and Bayview Sound and the Kindergarten Recycle Choir.

“‘This Land Is Your Land,’ is a song that is still sung by young people,” said Dorothy Parshall, an Earth Day volunteer.

“We want them to know who he was, what he stood for and how much he would want them to feel and respond to the words of this song.”

The various musicians will perform a variety of Guthrie’s songs with biographical comments interspersed. A bulletin board of pictures, comments and events from Guthrie’s life will be on display.

All day in the Cash Store will be how-to workshops and ongoing demonstrations on such topics as bin composting, bike repair, solar cooking, sustainable gardening, natural dyes, electric bicycles and other useful information on sustainable living.

This year, Puget Sound Energy and Saratoga Community Housing are teaming up to offer a workshop on home energy efficiency measures. PSE will describe its new HomePrint residential energy assessment program and announce details of the Whidbey Green Power Challenge at 2 to 3 p.m. on the second floor of the Cash Store.

PSE is also inviting folks to bring in their used compact florescent light bulbs so they can dispose of them properly.

A seed exchange will also be underway. Bring your seeds, whether they’re heirloom specialties, personal favorites or just leftovers from your favorite seed company.

Besides listening to the music, children can participate in activities that include a tree planting and various art projects led by the South Whidbey Commons and Island Coffeehouse between 1 and 5 p.m.

Organizers will offer a tour of the community garden planted at the Good Cheer Food Bank, as well as a walking tour of the sustainable design elements at Bayview Corner and in the Cash Store, including the composting toilet, storm water recycle pond and recycled building materials.

Additionally, a display and demonstration of various electric vehicles will be held in the parking lot.

Finally, as always, the annual creation of a temporary mandala will be available to all Earth Day visitors. Bring natural items, such as pinecones, pebbles, berries, sheep’s wool, shells and blossoms to help create a memorable tribute to the earth.

In appreciation of all the volunteers who help to put on Earth Day each year, Goosefoot programming director Marian Myszkowski said, “This is truly a sustainable event when it comes to ‘human power.’”

This year’s Earth Day Festival is part of “Earth and Ocean Weekend” on South Whidbey Island.

On Saturday, April 18, the “Welcome the Whales Day” parade takes place on the Langley waterfront from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to celebrate the return of the resident gray whales and orcas to Saratoga Passage on their way from Mexico to Canada and Alaska. Visit for more info on the whales.

A detailed schedule of Earth Day events is available at

Admission is free, and the event takes place rain or shine. Call 321-4145 for more information.

The Earth Day Celebration is co-sponsored by Goosefoot, the South Whidbey Environmental Navigation Community, Transition Whidbey and Bayview Community Hall.

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