People, people everywhere on Earth Day

“It’s one of the biggest events of the year,” said coordinator Leanne Koehn.

Some 4,000 people attended Earth Day celebrations on Saturday at Memorial Peace Park in Maple Ridge.

“It’s one of the biggest events of the year,” said event coordinator Leanne Koehn. “Every year it gets bigger and better.”

She started as coordinator with a new planning committee four years ago, and this is the biggest event they have had yet.

The theme of this year’s Earth Day celebration was “Water, Water Everywhere,” borrowing from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

“We have to reinvent the festival each year,” said Koehn, explaining how there were water play stations for kids at the event this year, and entertainment by local artists in residence set to a water theme.

Water issues from Restoring Katzie Slough to the recent oil spill in English Bay were highlighted. She noted the earth is 71 per cent water, and 97 per cent of that is salt water. Of the small amount of fresh water that is available for consumption, 69 per cent is in glaciers or permanent snow cover.

“A small percentage can be used for drinking and irrigation,” said Koehn. “But it is also used for fracking.

“A lot of people don’t consider themselves environmentalists. We open their eyes a bit more, and make them more aware of issues,” said Koehn. “We raise awareness in a non-judgemental, non-preachy way.”

As with past Earth Day events, there was the family freecycle, and eight truckloads of “gently used” clothing, toys and books were collected, and distributed for free.

“People come in and take what they want,” said Koehn. “That spirit of generosity is transformative.”

Koehn said local musicians provided entertainment on three separate stages, set far enough apart that the sound did not compete to be heard. Those at the festival, or walking through the farmer’s market, could walk from one “zone of sound” to another.

Just Posted

A Maple Ridge family’s quest to help youth by the dozen

The Garretts are selling eggs with profits going to Foundry Ridge Meadows

ARMS worried about low lake level

Fears thousands of kokanee smolts could be lost.

Mountain biker admitted to hospital after being sent home

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Maple Ridge secondary students discover the art of children’s lit

Twenty students will be reading their books to Laity View elementary students

Maple Ridge’s public works manager stepping down

Frank Quinn retires in May, saw city’s population double

Paddling and pancakes, cleaning Katzie Slough shore

The fourth biannual canoe tour of the Katzie Slough took place on Sunday

Multiple people injured after deck collapses during celebration

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Rats available for adoption in Vancouver

In a social media post the City of Vancouver says you can adopt a rat for $5.

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Crews battle Burnaby blaze; 2 people sent to hospital

Emergency Support Services helping residents displaced by fire

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Most Read