Speakers and Activities Announced for Earth Day 2018

In the aftermath of the devastating Thomas Fire just months ago, citizens and volunteers came out to join the Ojai Valley Green Coalition to plan for a renewed and invigorated Earth Day 2018. For the first time ever the event will be held in Libbey Park, and, according to City Councilwoman Suza Francina, “the event is on track to be Ojai’s most inspiring Earth Day ever!” You can see the detailed schedule here.

This free event will be held on Saturday, April 21, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be earth-friendly entertainment, live music, expert speakers, natural building displays, earth-friendly vendors, and child-friendly activities including earth building with Ray Cirino, eco stardust face painting, and guided nature walks exploring the park.

The Earth Day stage events, held in the Gazebo, will begin with a blessing with Chumash Elder Julie Tumamait-Stensli. Following will be a full schedule of live music, including local favorites the Chillz, Aaron Embry, the Blue Moon Singers, and Cindy Kalmenson. Music will be interspersed with inspiring expert speakers.

Speakers include bestselling author and documentary maker Josh Tickell, on how we can “Protect Our Soil, Protect our Town (from fires, mudslides and calamity).”

Ojai Mayor Johnny Johnston will speak on “Community Choice Energy and what more we can do,” Connor Jones on “Regenerative Agriculture as a key to land and water management,” and scientist Peter Kalmus on “How we can live well and spark a climate revolution.”

Clare Steel, a Professor at CSU Channel Islands, will speak on ecological impacts of micro plastic debris on our coastal ecosystems.

John Roulec, founder of Nutiva, will speak on “Healthy soils and the link to ocean rejuvenation.”

Suza Francina and Kelly Pascoe will describe simple things we can do to make Ojai more bicycle-friendly.

Ojai Planning Commissioner Ray Powers will lead a Community Visioning Exercise: Ojai the Next 100 years.

And many more outstanding experts on what we can do to reverse global warming and create a healthier planet.

A Creativity Corner on the lawn near the playground will offer activities for children and adults of all ages, including Face Painting and Banner Making with the Blue Fairy for children and teens. Interactive activities include yoga with teachers from Arrow Heart Yoga Studio, dance with Eden Flynn, and International Dances of Peace with Amira Webster. There will also be Tai Chi with Jan Reason, a demonstration of Peace Sticks with Shane Rilling, and a Drum Circle led by Lawrence Alcorn.

Ryan O’Donnell, from Humble Hand Craft, who specializes in building sustainable, small homes, will have one of his tiny homes on display. There will also be a variety of electric vehicles — a Tesla X, Chevy Bolt and Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid — to showcase some of the interesting, affordable, and mainstream options to reduce polluting emissions and save money.

Exhibitors include the Church of the Wild, Ojai Trees, Ojai Valley Land Conservancy, BlueSky Biochar, and more than a dozen earth-friendly others.

Participants are encouraged to bike, walk, skate, ride the trolley, or carpool.

Photo: Children building with “Raygos”: bricks of adobe made by Ray Cirino that will be featured. Photo by Ray Cirino.

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