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Sustainable, resilient Longmont celebrates Earth Day

Kristin Tallis, of the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program, holds a Swainson’s hawk during an education program during a Sustainable Resilient Longmont event at Timberline PK-8, 233 E Mountain View Ave. The nonprofit held its 10th annual Earth Day celebration on Saturday. Grassmick/staff photographer)

Community members celebrated their love for the natural world at Sustainable Resilient Longmont’s 10th annual Earth Day event.

Saturday morning brought snow, but the celebration went on as planned at Timberline PK-8 School in Longmont. With a mix of indoor and outdoor activities, the event brought people together to learn more about sustainable practices and sustainable living. Sustainable Resilient Longmont is a nonprofit organization working on several goals, including working with the Platte River Power Authority to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2030 and trying to make Longmont a Zero Waste city, according to information on its website .

“Thank you for braving the cold to make it a fun day with us,” SRL volunteer Stephanie Potter told guests on Saturday. “This is our 10-year anniversary … and we’re just staying strong and we’re continuing to grow.”

Brooke Baguette holds Cedar the owl during a Sustainable Resilient Longmont event Saturday.  The nonprofit held its 10th annual Earth Day celebration.  (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
Brooke Baguette holds Cedar the owl during a Sustainable Resilient Longmont event Saturday. The nonprofit held its 10th annual Earth Day celebration. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

Event coordinator Gina Burrows explained that SRL was founded ten years ago to bring an Earth Day celebration to Longmont. Since then, the nonprofit has expanded to include other activities and programs, but Earth Day remains its flagship event.

“It’s really a great way to give back to Longmont,” Burrows said. “I think it’s really cool to take it to 10 years, and hopefully there will be another 10 years.”

This year’s celebration featured 41 booths representing local nonprofits, businesses and city affiliates. Several booths were staffed by experts sharing tips on eco-friendly living, including Longmont Food Rescue, the Platte River Power Authority and the Longmont Public Library.

“Earth Day is such a global thing, so having an event here in Longmont kind of brings it home,” Burrows said. “It gives people some direction on what they can do right now, here and now, in a meaningful way. We want people to learn and have some action items they can walk away with.”

Bryant Reckinger, 8, learns about the St. Vrain River Basin by painting the animals that live there.  Sustainable Resilient Longmont held its 10th annual Earth Day celebration on Saturday.  (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
Bryant Reckinger, 8, learns about the St. Vrain River Basin by painting the animals that live there. Sustainable Resilient Longmont held its 10th annual Earth Day celebration on Saturday. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

This year too, a number of sellers had a stand for the first time. For example, Josephine Sterr, director of the Boulder County Kids Sale, said she wanted to attend this year’s event because the consignment sale also focuses on sustainability.

“We celebrate Earth Day because we try to reuse as much as possible,” says Sterr.

This year’s celebration also saw the introduction of a new event: a clothing swap. Attendees were encouraged to donate clothing in any condition and pick up new ones for free.

SRL Secretary Jessica Shaver helped coordinate the clothing swap and explained that the ultimate goal is to reduce textile waste.

“Clothing swaps are a really good way to talk about the value of clothing,” says Shaver. “There are more than enough clothes to clothe six generations of people, and most of them are made from synthetic fabrics.”

Premier Members Credit Union also returned as title sponsor of the event. This year, the credit union held a raffle where guests could win Community Supported Agriculture shares from Kilt Farm at 8140 Oxford Road. Such shares give consumers the opportunity to get local, seasonal food from a local farmer.

“SRL continues to do a better job reaching all aspects of the community and ensuring equity at the event,” said Garrett Chappell, sustainability coordinator at PMCU. “I’m always happy when a lot of people show up… just to celebrate what can be done locally.”

See more at Colorado Hometown Weekly