Earth Day celebrates 50 years | Activities planned for March, April

One day just isn’t enough to celebrate Mother Earth.

Orcas Island is invited to honor the planet in March and April with workshops, a parade, an outdoor clean-up, a fashion show and more.

“I’m passionate about Earth Day because it’s our home. Our children live here. I am passionate about people and if we all get together and celebrate each other it trickles back to the Earth,” said Orcas Recycling Services and Exchange board member Asifa Pasin, who organized the first annual Orcas Island Earth Day Festival last year.

Earth Day is April 22 and 2020 marks its 50th anniversary.

“I really wanted to involve the kids from the beginning to the end,” Pasin said. “I approached the school, asking to combine our Earth Day efforts for greater results. Principal Lorena Stankevich said ‘let’s do activities all month!’ It’s incredible I’ve had so much amazing support and help.”

Upcoming activities

• March 7, noon-4 p.m.: Join ORS for a workshop on making your own reusable bags in the Exchange Annex.

• March 12 and 26, 5:30 to 7 p.m.: Trashion Fashion Workshop at Orcas Center for designing outfits to model at the April 22 show. Hosted by Melanie Trygg (who was most recently seen on “Project Runway”)and Asifa Pasin.

• March 22, 2-6 p.m.: Come help students sew “wish banners” for an Earth Day project, in the Exchange Annex.

• April 4, 8:30 a.m.-noon: Earth Day Fair for Orcas Island School students grades K-12. They will enjoy workshops on art, music, composting and other environmental topics as well as field trips to The Exchange/Orcas Recycling Services, Kathy Morris’ farm and the beach to pick up plastic for an art project. The kids will also plant trees on the school grounds.

• April 18, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.: Great Islands Clean-Up, starting at The Village Green. All community members are invited and encouraged to participate. They’ll have all the supplies you need and will assign a location.

• April 22, 1-2 p.m.: Earth Day Parade from the school to Village Green for a celebration. All community members are invited to join in the parade. Listen to local guest speakers and performances by Irthlingz and Y.E.S. (Youth Earth Singers) and participate in a “50th Year Anniversary” tree dedication.

• April 22, 6 p.m.: All are invited to watch the Trashion Fashion, hosted by Grace McCune, at Orcas Center. ORS President James Duffield will open the evening followed by special guest speaker Heather Trim of Zero Waste Washington. Music for the evening will be provided by Burke Mulvany and Josie Dow of ReVivify and Kurt Baumann and Katie Gray of the Sea Stars.

Volunteers are still needed to help with Earth Day activities. The next organizational meeting is at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 11 at the Orcas Library.

“There is so much sadness right now. We need every bit of effort and energy put into being hopeful and helpful,” Pasin said. “We can be an inspiration and a bright light for other counties, towns, states and countries.”