Local environmental groups honor Earth Day | SummitDaily.com

Local environmental groups honor Earth Day

Summit Daily/Kristin Skvorc

SILVERTHORNE – In 1970, most Americans lived in a blissful state of ignorance about what effect our lifestyles had on the environment around us. There was no Environmental Protection Agency, no Endangered Species Act, no Clean Water Act and the word “recycle” meant nothing more than “cycle again.”More than 20 million people participated that year in the first Earth Day teach-in, and today, 36 years later, America’s young people live in a world where environmental activism is frequently in the news and recycling is often taken for granted.

Many of the most enthusiastic at Saturday’s Earth Day Action Fair at the Silverthorne Pavilion were not yet born in 1970, but their commitment to the principles of sustainability and earth stewardship are a testament to the enduring power of the first Earth Day’s mission.”We need to recycle because our earth will get all messed up if we don’t do it,” third-grader Ellie Brown Wolf said, after receiving the Lisa Simpson Outstanding Youth Award. “It’s also fun to do it.”

Organizers of the first Earth Day would have been gratified to hear Summit Cove Elementary third-grader Ryan Rodgers, a co-recipient of the Simpson award, talk about the importance of recycling.”If you throw it away, it’s going to get littered and it’ll take 200 years to break down,” he said.

More than 100 citizens showed up at the pavilion Saturday to hear presentations on subjects as varied as sustainable investing, how to make clay paints, green cleaning and “what happens when you flush.” Environmental groups, such as the Blue River Watershed Group, the Continental Divide Land Trust and the Summit Recycling Project provided information at displays set up in the hall.Presentation of the Green Scene awards to local individuals and businesses for commitment to the environment and a recycled fashion show were the highlights of the festivities.Summit Middle School student Helen Mastin developed and constructed several of the high-fashion recycled designs featured during the show. Her creations included an outfit consisting of recycled school projects, a colorful flapper-style dress made up of Mardi Gras beads left on the ground after the parade in Keystone and a two-piece red ensemble she made from duct tape and modeled herself.

Event organizer Carly Wier, director of the High Country Conservation Center, reflected on the youthful trend at this year’s action fair.”We had some great workshops and lots of kids,” she said.

Silverthorne Elementary teacher Scott Sperry, Frisco community development director Mark Gage, Eagles Nest Wilderness volunteer Cyndi Koop and Colorado Mountain Cleaners were the adult recipients of Green Scene awards. Lane Wyatt, co-director of the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments Water Quantity/Quality Committee, was surprised Saturday with the Essential Earthy Employee Award.

Harriet Hamilton can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13624, or at hhamilton@summitdaily.com.

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