This weekend promises to provide a double-dose of Earth-friendly activism and celebration of the environment in Los Angeles, with two of the city’s biggest eco-events, EarthFest Los Angeles and Los Angeles Coastal Cleanup Day, both taking place on Saturday, September 15, 2012.
The 7th Annual EarthFest Los Angeles Concert for the Environment will be held at West Los Angeles College, and is sponsored by California GreenWorks, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in urban communities in South Los Angeles through the restoration of waterways, environmental education programs geared towards elementary school children, and the creation of community-based programs that raise awareness about watershed pollution. California Greenworks organized Los Angeles’ first EarthFest (originally called GreenFest and held in April on Earth Day) in 2006, and since that time continues to promote a better relationship between urban residents and the natural environment to which they are intrinsically connected. EarthFest Los Angeles provides all who attend with fun, informative, and inspirational experiences with environmental education and activism.
The EarthFest ‘Environmental Expo’ open from 11 am to 4 pm and includes a screening of the acclaimed documentary Gas Land, which examines the controversial topic of “fracking,” or hydraulic fracturing, as a means of natural gas extraction which could soon impact such cities as Culver and Baldwin Hills. The Environmental Expo will feature guest speakers, traditional Native American dancers, a gospel music concert by Roland Pollard & Delivered, a Kid’s Eco Camp, demonstrations on gardening and energy efficiency, exhibitors, and of course, face painting! The EarthFest LA Jazz for the Environment Concert, which begins at 2 pm and requires the purchase of separate tickets for admission, boasts performances by smooth jazz legend and double Grammy winner Paul Brown, contemporary jazz artists Darren Rahn and Chris Lightfoot, stunning vocalist Wendy Moten, and the group DW3, who flavor their unique jazz with generous sprinklings of R&B and Latin Soul music.
Before EarthFest but also on Saturday (9 am to 12pm), the Los Angeles-based marine conservation organization Heal the Bay will be sponsoring its annual Coastal Cleanup Day in conjunction with approximately 60 other Coastal Cleanup Days taking place simultaneously in San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and other coastal communities across California.
As part of the organization’s effort to keep Los Angeles beaches healthy and clean, Heal the Bay has been organizing the Coastal Cleanup in Los Angeles County for 23 years. According to the Heal the Bay website, the event involves “tens of thousands of Southern Californians…head[ing] to their local beaches and inland waterways on a mission to clear the sand and water of harmful and unsightly pollution.” In 2011, an unprecedented number of over 67,000 California volunteers removed 676,768 pounds of trash and 115,773 pounds of recyclable waste from the state’s bays and beaches!
Heal the Bay encourages anyone interested in attending the Los Angeles Coastal Cleanup Day to sign up online and recruit others. As an added bonus, the first 100 volunteers to arrive at the Coastal Cleanup Day site at the end of Bay Street/Tower 20 in Santa Monica will receive free tickets to the evening’s EarthFest LA Jazz for the Environment Concert at West Los Angeles College!
What’s there to lose? Clean some beach and then celebrate your good work! Hope to see you out there!
By Jennifer L. Neczypor, LoaTree Writer