Earth Day Festival was a success, organizer says

The 2013 Lovell Earth Day Festival was a success, organizer Christy Fleming of the National Park Service said last week.

“Make Every Day Earth Day” was the theme of the event held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Lovell Downtown Mural Park on Saturday, April 20.

Bridger Pederson and Landon Hatch examine a pelt shown by the U.S. Forest Service during the Lovell Earth Day Festival on April 20.

Bridger Pederson and Landon Hatch examine a pelt shown by the U.S. Forest Service during the Lovell Earth Day Festival on April 20.

“It went well,” Fleming said. “We had 146 people there. About one-third were associated with the booths. We had a real good turnout from agencies and partners. There were a lot of good ideas for the booths, and the speakers were great.

“We gave out 40 junior ranger badges. Kids got a journal and had to go to a certain number of booths and get a sticker or a stamp. They had to do the Earth Day junior ranger pledge.”

First held in 2010, the Earth Day festival was intended to be an annual event and should be in the future, Fleming said, now that she is back at Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area after a year and a half with the Heart Mountain Relocation Center.

“We would like it to be an annual event,” she said. “Everyone I talked to enjoyed it, and the people with the booths plan to come back again.”

Talks included “Reclaiming Mining Lands” presented by Joe Sylvester of Wyo-Ben and Matt Dillon of American Colloid, “Composting” by Town of Lovell Parks Director Gary Emmett, “High Tunnel Greenhouse” by Dallen Smith of the University of Wyoming Extension Service, “Drought Tolerant Landscaping” by Marji Patz of the Soil and Water Conservation Society and “Methane Gas Mining from Landfills” by John Delvo of Montana-Dakota Utilities.

Fleming said it might seem odd to have bentonite companies on the same program as composting and other topics, but she said the bentonite session actually fit the theme perfectly.

“The bentonite companies and Georgia-Pacific are all trying to mine responsibly, and they are part of the local economy and the Big Horn Basin economy,” she said. “If we don’t work together it will be harder to ‘make every day Earth Day.’ It takes everybody.”

By David Peck

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