Earth Day celebrations kick off a week early this year

click to enlarge We celebrate this blue orb on April 22. - NASA
We celebrate this blue orb on April 22.

Some of the Spokane area’s biggest Earth Day events happen early this year because Easter weekend falls later, just before Earth Day on Monday, April 22. These regional events include a festival, outdoor open house and a discussion of climate issues.

Happy Earth Day 2019
Earth Day Spokane plans to celebrate and fundraise with a complete ecosystem of 80 vendors. Event Chair Charity Doyl says that although attendance “really depends on Mother Nature,” she expects between 5,000 and 8,000 people. Attractions include a prize wheel with the chance to win llama poop that Doyl calls “gold for gardeners,” along with other prizes. There’s also a human mural made from a crowd with umbrellas to create the image of an orca whale, live performances, and a tree goddess stilt walker. Event proceeds support Save the Wild Salmon, activist group Backbone and efforts to establish community gardens.
Sat, April 13 from 11 am-7 pm. Free admission. Balfour Park, 105 N. Balfour Rd., Spokane Valley

Earth Day Open House
Want to adore the outdoors on Earth Day? The West Valley Outdoor Learning Center hosts an open house focusing on conservation, composting and caring for the planet. Highlights include crafts, outdoor activities and meeting resident animals. Entry is free, but donations are appreciated.
Sat, April 13 from 10 am-2 pm. Free, donations accepted. West Valley Outdoor Learning Center, 8505 E. Upriver Dr.

Bridging the Climate Divide
If you’re interested in political discussion, the Idaho and Eastern Washington chapters of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby are hosting a conference on bipartisan efforts to combat climate issues. The event focuses on climate, sustainable agriculture, possible health impacts of climate change, environmental justice and bipartisan cooperation. A keynote by Dr. Steve Gahn titled “The Path Forward on Climate Change: Bipartisan Congressional Legislation” takes place at 3:30 pm on Friday, April 19, on the University of Idaho campus and is free and open to the public, including those not registered for the conference.
April 19-20. $35; $10/students. 1912 Center, 412 E. Third St., Moscow, Idaho