Maple Ridge celebrates Earth Day in Memorial Peace Park.(THE NEWS/files)

Earth Day about healthy community

This year’s Maple Ridge event highlights mental, social, and economic health.

Earth Day is an eco-inspired, all-ages event will multiple attractions taking place in Maple Ridge on Saturday.

Earth Day events this year include the Family Freecycle, Cycle Recycle Free Bike Draw, Repair Café, arts and entertainment, interactive booths, flash mobs, a special Haney Farmers Market, electric vehicles and a food truck festival.

The theme his year – “Healthy Community, Healthy Self” – encourages all to “Invest in Your Community” and highlights mental, social, and economic health.

“Building a healthy community starts with you – giving time to your community and taking time for yourself,” say organizers.

Earth Day takes place in Memorial Peace Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Healthy community

What is a healthy community? Why are some doctors prescribing nature visits and art activities to increase wellness? How can volunteering and helping others also improve your personal health? How do we stay human in an ever-advancing technological world?

Both Earth Day 2019 and 2020 will explore these and other questions as we focus on different aspects of the theme “Healthy Community, Healthy Self.”

Join the hundreds of Maple Ridge citizens who volunteer for their community, making a world of difference in so many ways. Creating a sharing economy and working on solutions to community issues such as poverty, food insecurity, and addiction builds connections and can inspire the sense of purpose sometimes needed to pull people out of our own apathy and isolation.

Family Freecycle

In preparation for the Family Freecycle, donations of gently used books, toys, and clothing are collected for two weeks ahead of the event, including at a drop-off event from 4-7 p.m. on Friday, April 12, the night before Earth Day, in front of the ACT Arts Centre.

All items collected are sorted into sizes and categories, set out on tables in the Leisure Centre, and given away at the Earth Day event. We live in an abundant society – most people have too much ‘stuff’ and are more than happy to give it away. Declutter your home then come to find something new to you.

Haney Farmers Market

Saturday is the debut market of the season. With over 20 vendors at the “Celebrate Earth Day” event, there is something for everyone. The Haney Farmers Market encourages a healthy community by providing the public with direct access to food producers. The market serves to stimulate and support the local economy, to provide opportunities to inform and entertain and to support and strongly encourage environmental sustainability.

Electric vehicle display, demonstrations

Learn more about why the future is electric. Members of the Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association are more than happy talk about the different kinds of electric vehicles and you may even be able to go for a ride in an electric car. If you are thinking of buying an electric vehicle, come and ask them all your questions.

Food Truck Festival

Hunger Management has rounded up a gaggle of food trucks to satisfy your sweet, savoury, and any other hunger needs.

Repair Café

Got broken stuff? Bring it to the Repair Cafe on the bandstand and learn how to fix it for free. Experienced fixers will be on hand to assist with the repair or offer advice on all your sewing, electrical, carpentry, jewelery, or bike repair needs. Glue, tape, tools, sewing machines and more are available to use. Come have a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy the magic of repair.

TINKERbell Station

At the Repair Cafe, kids can get hands-on with tools, take stuff apart and learn how it works, build original creations, or just tinker. You may even see Tinkerbell herself there to give you a hand.

Cycle Recycle

At the Cycle Recycle, the local HUB Cycling group collects secondhand bikes, fixes them up, and gives them away in a free bike draw at Earth Day. Many of the bikes were destined for the scrap heap at the recycling depot and HUB helps get both the bikes and residents back on the road.

Art Studio Tour

The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Art Studio Tour invites you to dive into hands-on art activities. Join our artists to play with clay, decorate a pottery heart, or pick up a brush and add your mark to our community canvas. Take in a display of our artists’ work and learn more about the tour, which takes place over the Mother’s Day weekend, May 11-12.

4-H Llama Kissing Booth

No llama drama here, just love. Join the 4-H llama club for a photo op with some of the cutest livestock around – “4-H stands for Head, Heart, Hands and Health,” which aligns with Celebrate Earth Day’s Healthy Self, Healthy Community theme. Participate in the llama kissing booth or buy a plant from their plant sale.

Kids Active Play Zone

Stop by Maple Ridge Parks, Recreation and Culture’s Kids Active Play Zone, where children can test their skills by hopping, throwing and jumping their way through an obstacle course.

With a focus on getting outside and connecting with nature, the Kids Active Play Zone will have many valuable resources available. Learn more about the Live 5210 message – five fruits and veggies, no more than two hours of screen time, a minimum of one hour of physical activity and zero sugary drinks.

Earth Day entertainment

• This year, we are overjoyed to have the ReMax/Library Storytime Tent hosting author and poet Tiffany Stone (11:30 a.m., 12:30 and 1:30 p.m.), Disney Character storytimes with Tinkerbell and Belle (10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m.), and a dance party with Spandy Andy (noon).

• Tiffany Stone wonders why nothing rhymes with orange. She is a critically acclaimed children’s poet and home-schooling mother from Maple Ridge. She has published several collections of rhyming verse with Simply Read and Tradewind Books, including Teatime, Rainbow Shoes, Floyd the Flamingo and Baaaad Animals. Tiffany’s new book, Tree Song, published with Annick Press, follows the life cycle of a tree as it grows from seedling to mature tree, and finally gives way to a new sapling.

• Spandy Andy is a Canadian-born entertainer who spreads joy across the world with his contagious dance moves. Join in as he delights the crowd with his high-energy dance moves and infectious personality. He brings his unique style of comedy and dance together to make the world a happier place.

• Out of the Rain comes a collection of carefully crafted characters – each character will make your event truly magical. They sing, act, and are kind and courageous. Out of the Rain will bring smiles in the rain or shine to all of British Columbia.

ACT Stage and Market Stage

There will be two music stages – one in front of the ACT Arts Centre and one at Market Square at the Haney Farmers Market.

Performing at the ACT Stage: Kat and Tony (10 a.m.), The Low Barrier Chorus (11 a.m.), Western Jaguar (12:15 p.m.), and Band for Good (1:15 p.m.).

Performing at the Market Stage: Holly and Taylor (10am), Bob Cockroft (10:30), Nathanial Manaquil Zaparilla (11am), Earl Jenkins (12pm), Leenie Bennett (12:30), Caden Knudson (1pm), & Julian Burns (1:30).

Roving performers will also be wandering around the site waiting to entertain.

Finally, don’t miss the Welcoming Ceremonies at 10:30 a.m. at the ACT outdoor stage, with greetings from the Katzie First Nation and Kwantlen First Nation, winners of the Earth Day poetry and photo contests, and learn what volunteering means to our mayor, councillors, MLAs and MP.

• For details, visit the “Celebrate Earth Day in Maple Ridge” Facebook Page or www.mrearthday.ca.

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