Sustainable Resilient Longmont shared tools to help the planet during Earth Day celebration
Whether they choose to gather on Saturday or learn best practices to help the planet, Ryan Schutz said he hopes a weekend Earth Day celebration in Longmont will show residents the power that they have for a positive change.
Schutz is the executive director of Sustainable Resilient Longmont. On Saturday at the Longmont Museum, he joined the sustainability advocacy nonprofit in organizing the eighth annual Earth Day celebration, which was attended by more than 700 attendees.
“Celebrating Earth Day is all about hope,” Schutz said, “to celebrate this planet and shine a light on the many ways we can effect change for the better. It’s quite easy to scare people and to shut them up with what’s going on. It doesn’t lead to action. It doesn’t change anything.”
Several organizations visited the event to give people the tools. Attendees were able to chat with representatives from People and Pollinators, a non-profit organization that works to promote sustainable agricultural practices; the Environmental Protection Agency; the Sierra Club, a grassroots environmental organization; Stand With Our St. Vrain Creek, a residential advocacy group, and US Fish and Wildlife Services.
Schutz said there were also opportunities to learn about composting, which helps keep trash from rotting in a landfill and producing methane gas, and many tree companies that have shed light on the importance of trees. Additionally, the nonprofit Longmont Food Rescue shared tactics to reduce food waste, and city staff spoke about multimodal transportation.
The day’s events included live music by musicians Jeff & Paige, who sing about the environment. The Raptor Education Foundation visited the event to give attendees the chance to see live birds of prey. Volunteers banded together to clean up Left Hand Creek.
In a presentation, State Rep. Tracey Bernett, who represents Boulder County, told those in attendance what legislation was in the works at the state level. The Longmont Democrat spoke about Bill 22-1249, which aims to improve the state’s electric grids through the creation of a microgrid roadmap and Bill 22-1362, which aims to adopt codes that will create more efficient buildings.
Another element of the Earth Day celebration on Saturday was a walk from the museum to the corner of Main Street and Ken Pratt Boulevard.
Before leaving, the approximately 50 participants in the march gathered at the museum to make signs for the rally. Longmont participant Nancy McKenna wrote the words “Respect Our Home” on a piece of cardboard which she then decorated with pictures of animals and flowers.
McKenna praised the work of Sustainable Resilient Longmont and said she wanted to show support for their mission to promote a greener Longmont.
“We are in the middle of a crisis,” she said. “We have this beautiful house and not enough people have realized it, or people have always put profits before planet and people. It’s wrong. It’s not like we have a planet B to go to, which is why I’m here.
As she walked on Saturday, Niwot resident Patty Stutz-Tannenbaum said she was stepping up to spread the message that it is up to people as individuals to make positive changes to help their planet. .
“We can’t rely on elected officials to do that,” Stutz-Tannenbaum said. “That will never happen. As citizens and community, we can make the changes ourselves and hopefully serve as role models.”
At the corner of Ken Pratt Boulevard and Main Street, the rally group chanted “Save our planet” and “Plant more trees.”
Schutz hoped attendees saw the tools available to solve global problems at the local level.
“If we just choose to do it, if we choose to make changes, the technology is there,” Schutz said. “Everything we need is there. We just have to do it. The hope is that it inspires kids, it inspires parents and brings us one step closer to a greener Longmont.