Number of events on tap for Earth Week

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SANDPOINT – A full week of local events are planned in celebration of Earth Week.

Organized by 350Sandpoint.org and The East Bonner County Library District, Earth Week is a week-long celebration of the international Earth Day theme “Save Our Species.” The events will be held at the Sandpoint branch of the East Bonner County Library District, as well as other locations around the Sandpoint area between April 15-22.

“This year, in our little corner of Earth, it is about our children,” said Mike Bauer, the library’s Lifelong Learning coordinator. “They will inherit what we have left them. What we leave them will be a gift, or it will be a problem. With this year’s Earth Week, we hope to leave them with the gift of play and laughter and learning how to care for the Earth, their home. We hope to teach our older people how to make a difference through learning how to lead by example and teach our children to be good stewards and to leave the Earth a better place than how they found it.”

Kicking off the week’s festivities is a special Earth Day-themed storytime at 11 a.m. at the Sandpoint library focusing on local pollinators. Later that day, at 5:30 p.m., Gabrielle Duebendorfer, N.D., and founder of the Sandpoint chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby will address the confusion and doubt surrounding climate change and how to sort fact from fiction in this very complex issue.

Wednesday, April 17, The library will host four events. At 2:30 p.m. kids and families can learn about the insects and animals that pollinate our foods and flowers and what can be done to protect them at “Afterschool Science.” Everyone takes a flower home. Two short films, “Chasing Coral” and “Fire: Climate Change,” will be available for immersive, spectacular virtual reality viewing in The library’s VR Room from 3-5 p.m. Viewings will also be held from 3-5 p.m. on Thursday, April 18, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, April 19, and Saturday, April 20, from 2-4 p.m. The films will be added to the regular VR Room collection thereafter.

Teens will build pollinator habitats from 4:30-6 p.m. every Wednesday in April in the Teen Lounge at the library. At 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, National Weather Service meteorologist Robin Fox will lead a discussion on extreme weather events in the Pacific Northwest for this month’s Science Café series at the library.

On Thursday, April 18, at 6 p.m. Alternative Radio host and co-author of “Global Discontents: Conversation on the Rising Threats to Democracy” (with Noam Chomsky) will speak on the theme “Why Journalism Matters” in the community rooms at the library.

The Little Panida Theater will host a free screening of “Chasing Coral” at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 19, with a discussion to follow. A team of divers, photographers, and scientists set out on a thrilling ocean adventure to discover why coral reefs around the world are vanishing and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world. This program will raise funds to send Sandpoint High School students to the Dominican Republic for a service learning experience on reef and mangrove restoration. There will be a raffle and silent auction.

On Saturday, April 20, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., the library will host a variety of children’s activities including a special StoryWalk where families can enjoy a children’s book with pages posted along a self-guided trail. At 10 a.m., the library hosts a free screening of “Saving Snow,” a film about how winters are warming and affecting snowpack and how ski towns and the snow sports industry are adjusting to those changes. The film will be followed by an expert panel discussion. Panel members include Tom Chasse, CEO of Schweitzer Mountain Resort; Kevin Davis, USFS Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center; and Danny Tappa, Natural Resources Conservation Service hydrologist. Chris Bessler, owner of Keokee Media and Publishing will moderate.

The week’s events culminate in a special Earth Day festival at Farmin Park from 1-4 p.m. Saturday at Farmin Park. Washington Elementary School sixth-graders will deliver a special presentation on their successful plastic recycling program. There will be exhibitors, games, green food vendors, prizes, and family-friendly activities. Music and dance performances include Doug Bond and Beth Pederson, Gaia’s Daughters Belly Dance, Allegro Jazz and Ballet, Beth Weber, Bella Note’, Music Conservatory of Sandpoint children’s percussion, Children’s musician Sam Cornett, and Monarch Butterflies Dance.

Monday, April 22, is the official Earth Day observed annually. Teens will meet at the library at 3 p.m. for a cleanup project and social media challenge — #TrashTagChallenge.

The Dover and Ponderay StoryWalks will feature special Earth Week titles; “Wake Up!” by Helen Frost at Dover City Park and “On Meadowview Street” by Henry Cole at McNearny Park. Bonner County StoryWalks are a partnership of Kaniksu Land Trust, The Library, City of Dover, and City of Ponderay. Learn more about StoryWalk at Facebook.com/BonnerStoryWalks.

Nancy Gerth, 350Sandpoint.org volunteer and co-organizer of Earth Week encourages everyone to “Take a break to consider how lucky we are to live on Mother Earth and how we can be better children.”

Earth Week is sponsored by Bonner County Human Rights Task Force, Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper, Mandala Pizza, Panhandle Alliance for Education, and The Festival at Sandpoint. For information, contact Mike Bauer 208-265-2665 or mike@ebonnerlibrary.org.

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