Earth Day 2001: A Planet Worthy of Our Affection 
By Alice Martinez

 

 On Earth Day in April, millions of people look to connect with something meaningful to do for the environment all the other days of the year. Each year, more than 60,000 visitors and 200+ exhibitors supported by 400 volunteers make that connection at San Diego EarthWorks’ EarthFair, in San Diego’s Balboa Park. This year marks the 12th annual EarthFair, to be held on April 22 (Earth Day) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

“We intend EarthFair to be an inclusive, broad-based environmental forum,” said Chris Klein, the event’s senior production manager since 1990. “Of course, we have exhibitors representing the mainstay environmental causes: habitat protection, clean water, clean air, healthy ecosystems. But we also include organizations that contribute to our quality of life and a planet that works for everyone. So you’ll also find recycling, animal protection, alternative medicine, peace, alternative transportation, energy and nature outings groups.” 

The fair’s regular features also include a popular Children’s Area, with hands-on activities for kids, 5 stages of entertainment, an Earth-friendly (vegetarian) food area, and Health and Technology Pavilions. 

At 10:30 a.m., there will be a parade of alternative fuel vehicles through the park. The vehicles — everything from electric subcompact cars to natural-gas powered trash trucks — will subsequently be on display. The vehicle parade will be followed by the Children’s Earth Parade, with youth representing their hopes for the planet (e.g., dressing up like their favorite endangered species). 

Originally conceived as a one-time event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Earth Day in 1990, continuing public demand for this environmental forum and celebration of the Earth has made EarthFair a San Diego institution. 

Volunteer: The Best Way To Spend A Day 
The EarthFair, the country’s largest annual environmental fair, is planned and produced by 400+ volunteers — people just like you. With only one paid staff member, citizen participation is the heart and soul of the event. If you’d like to help give a party for 60,000 of your closest friends, why not spend the day (or part of it) putting on EarthFair? If you are interested, come to one of EarthWorks’ Volunteer Introduction Meetings. 

Currently scheduled meetings include: Wednesday, March 14 - First Church of the Brethren, 3850 West- gate Pl., 7 p.m., and Saturday, March 24 - Carmel Valley Library, 3919 Towngate Dr., 10 a.m. 

If you can’t make one of these meetings, please check our website, www.earthdayweb.org  for dates in April. You can sign up to volunteer on-line. Volunteers are also needed for EarthWorks’ other benchmark event, the VIP (Very Important Planet) Reception, Silent Auction & EARTH Awards, held on Thursday, April 26. Please see our website for details, or call our 24-hour info line: (858) 496-6666. 

A New Era In San Diego Politics? 
The San Diego Earth Day 2001 theme is “A Planet Worthy of Our Affection.” San Diego’s new Mayor Dick Murphy set the tone with his State of the City address, announcing the ten major goals for his new administration with a vision for San Diego in the year 2020: A City Worthy Of Our Affection. In the tradition of “Thinking Globally, Acting Locally,” San Diego EarthWorks chose the global companion to the Mayor’s local action context. Five of the ten goals are critical to environmental progress in our region — as is the integration of those issues into the other goals. 

Mayor Murphy will give the keynote address at the Earth Day VIP reception on April 26th, as well as giving the City’s Waste Reduction and Recycling Awards. Other awards on the program include: Clean Air Award by the Air Pollution Control District, Energy Awards by the San Diego Regional Energy office, and EarthWorks’ grass-roots “EARTH” awards (Environmental And Restoration That Helps). If you have a nomination for a project, group, business or youth who might qualify for an award, contact San Diego EarthWorks at (858) 272-7370 or print a nomination form from www.earthdayweb.org. 

Excerpt and goals from Mayor Murphy:
“I told you during my inaugural speech that I would outline my vision for San Diego during my State of the City Address. So what is that vision? 

“In his book, ‘Cities on the Rebound,’ former Indianapolis mayor William Hudnut dedicates a chapter to the idea that the aim of a city should be to create places worthy of our affection. Of course, San Diegans love San Diego. But while there is much to celebrate in our city, there are also serious problems. We must embark on a bold agenda to deal with these problems if we want San Diego to still be worthy of our affection in the year 2020.” 


GOAL #1: ESTABLISH AN ETHICS COMMISSION. 
GOAL #2: REDUCE TRAFFIC CONGESTION. 
GOAL #3: CREATE NEIGHBORHOODS WE CAN BE PROUD OF. 
GOAL #4: CLEAN UP OUR BEACHES AND BAYS. 
GOAL #5: RESTRUCTURE REGIONAL GOVERNMENT / CONSTRUCT AN AIRPORT. 
GOAL #6: COMPLETE THE BALLPARK 
GOAL #7: BUILD A LIBRARY SYSTEM. 
GOAL #8: MAKE SAN DIEGO AMERICA’S SAFEST CITY. 
GOAL #9: PURSUE ENERGY INDEPENDENCE. 
GOAL #10: COMPLETE MSCP (Multiple Species Conservation Plan) OPEN SPACE ACQUISITIONS. 

For further details, please see: www.sannet.gov/mayor/speeches/sotc01.html

Mayor Murphy also announced several new citizen’s advisory committees. San Diego EarthWorks founder and Board Member Carolyn Chase was named Chair of the Citizen’s Environmental Advisory Committee. 

For more information on Earth Day projects, to volunteer or contribute, call (858) 272-7370 or visit our website at www.earthdayweb.org  or


Return to the March/April Index page