NEWSWATCH

Focus On Earth Day In Long Beach

Local Celebrations Remind Us To Be Kind To Our Planet Activities Include Cleanups, Panel Discussions And Even A ‘Green Prix’

Tiffany Rider - Senior Writer

April 9, 2013 – Spring is upon us, and what better way to give back to nature and all its beauty than to celebrate Earth Day?

While the United Nations celebrates the March equinox as Earth Day, here in the U.S. we have designated the 24 hours of April 22 to Gaia. It is a day to participate in a beach cleanup, to plant a tree or get involved in spreading awareness and appreciating Earth’s natural environment.

The nonprofit Earth Day Network, which connects with 22,000 partners in 92 countries, celebrates “The Face of Climate Change” as this year’s Earth Day theme. The concept behind the theme is to personalize how climate change is impacting individuals, animals and places around the globe. To visualize this, the Earth Day Network is collecting images and hosting them online at www.earthday.org.

Here in Long Beach, the city has a long-standing relationship with the Earth Day Network to promote citywide events, according to sustainability analyst Tiffany Chen. “We will definitely continue with that avenue again this year,” she said in an e-mail.

“The City of Long Beach is excited to be working with Longfellow Elementary, a nationally recognized Green Ribbon School and participating Green Teams, to host a Grow ECO LB Earth Day Celebration for all ages,” Chen said. “Our event is one out of dozens of community-wide events throughout the month of April, and by glancing at the citywide calendar of Earth Week events it just illustrates how the Long Beach community is continuing to make a difference in their neighborhoods.”

Below are highlights from the city’s events calendar as well as some additional events that benefit the local community and the environment.

Ninth District Councilmember Steven Neal presents the annual “Spring Cleaning Challenge,” an initiative to clean up and beautify neighborhoods within the district before summer. Neal is asking residents to report potholes, dumped items, damaged street signs, graffiti and other maintenance issues. Individuals who report the most items will receive an award, and the neighborhood association with the most reported items will receive a $1,000 grant for a neighborhood improvement project. Last year residents submitted approximately 250 maintenance issues; this year the district office has set a goal of receiving at least 500 reports. Residents may submit a report by e-mailing district9@longbeach.gov, calling the 9th District council office at 562/570-6137, submitting an item by visiting www.insidedistrict9.com or via the smartphone application “GO Long Beach.”

Salon Medusa, an Aveda salon, has partnered with the Surfrider Foundation to support Aveda’s effort to raise $5 million for clean water. Salon Medusa is accepting donations through the month, and participating in a 24-hour cut-a-thon on Earth Day, April 22. “We believe that a good business is a responsible business,” Salon Medusa owner Silvia Quinones said in a statement. “It is so gratifying to participate in a program like Aveda Earth Month that allows us to participate in a global initiative that directly benefits the community.” For more information, call 562/427-7977 or visit www.salonmedusalb.com.

The Long Beach Democratic Club is hosting a panel discussion on air quality and climate change from 7-8:15 p.m., tomorrow, April 10, at 319 W. Broadway. Panelists include Gabrielle Weeks of the Long Beach chapter, Sierra Club; Gisele Fong of the air quality working group, Building Healthy Communities: Long Beach; and Adrian Martinez of the Natural Resource Defense Council. Parking is free on the street after 6 p.m. and at the Potholder restaurant parking lot. For information, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/470148689722878/.

The Aquarium of the Pacific is holding its Earth Day celebration on April 13 and 14. Read about the weekend festival, and e-waste drive through Aqua Biz here on the Business Journal.

The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden on the campus of California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) hosts “Green Generation,” a campus and community mixer from 5-8 p.m., April 18. The event features student project displays, art, green businesses and other vendors, food, a live band and a cash bar. Keynote speaker is Dr. Christine Whitcraft, assistant professor of biological sciences of the CSULB Wetlands Ecology Lab. For more information, visit www.csulb.edu/~jgarden.

To promote local sustainability efforts, several Long Beach organizations have come together to host the first ever Green Prix of Long Beach between the 600 and 800 blocks of Pine Avenue on April 20. The event involves the Cultural Alliance Long Beach, Green Education Inc., Millworks, Leadership Long Beach, Green Long Beach and the Downtown Long Beach Associates, who joined forces to celebrate urban farmers, eco-friendly artists, organic and sustainable catering and other environmental businesses. Local vendors, food trucks, film screenings and local entertainment fill the day-long event, followed by a “Farm to Table” dinner hosted by Chef Paul and Dana Buchanan of Primal Alchemy at Art Park near 7th Street and Pine Avenue. The event is from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, visit www.lbgreenprix.com.

The 4th Annual Solar Grand Prix takes place April 20 at “El Dorado Park Raceway.” The event, hosted by Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske and the 5th District Sustainability Task Force, invites students, grades 6 to 12, to race solar powered model cars they have designed, powered only by the sun. For more information, or to volunteer, call Rachel Powers at 562/570-6932.

El Dorado Nature Center staff invites the public to take an active role in keeping the ocean and our beaches clean by participating in an Earth Day Beach Cleanup from 9-11 a.m., April 20, on the sand east of the Belmont Pier. For more information, contact Brooke Davis at brooke.davis@longbeach.gov or (562) 570-4876.

California Heights Historic District hosts its weekly “Clean Streets” neighborhood cleanup event from 8:30-10 a.m., April 25, at Wardlow Road and Atlantic Avenue. Bags and reusable gloves are provided. Street parking is available around the corner on Lime Avenue. For more information, visit www.calheights.org/clean_streets.htm.

A team of neighbors, volunteers and city staff will plant trees April 27 in honor of Earth Day from 9 a.m. to noon at Garfield Elementary School, 2240 Baltic Ave. Meet at Caspian Avenue and Hill Street. For more information, call 562/570-6866.

Also on April 27, get involved in Litter Free Long Beach Neighborhood Cleanup by removing trash from streets and alleys in the city’s 4th Council District, 8 a.m. to noon. All volunteers are welcome to a free barbecue lunch. For meeting location and more information, contact Jill Hill at 562/570-2895 or jill.hill@longbeach.gov.