By Kristin Kjaero
September 25, 2011 (La Mesa)--As the City of La Mesa prepares for its centennial in 2012, it is looking towards the future with the fourth annual "Sustain La Mesa” Environmental Festival as well as “Our Planet Our Home” K-12 Environmental Literacy and Art Contest, October 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Harry Griffen Park.
The largest festival thus far is chock full of cutting edge information which can help you not only sustain the environment, but ultimately your budget as well. Monarch butterflies will be released as a grand finale.
Topics include healthy home rebates, vertical gardening, gray water systems, commuting, a mini electric car show, solar cooking, backyard wildlife habitats, community sustainability agriculture co-ops (CSAs), the city’s Live Well and Community Garden initiatives, and much, much more.
A full schedule of speakers will be presented on the Festival Stage throughout the day. The California Center for Sustainability Energy will be unveiling their brand new Residential Energy Roadshow trailer at the event.
EDCO is holding a free recycling drop-off at the Festival as well, and will take all electronics, batteries (no automotive), used cooking oil, all plastics including shrink wrap and bags, clean formed Styrofoam, metals and glass; please no hazardous waste, tape or labels.
Activities for kids include the San Diego County Office of Education’s Splash Mobile Lab, the San Diego River Park Foundation’s “River Bugs are Cool,” and face painting by the Clown Conspiracy. Awards for the Environmental Art & Literacy contest will be given out on the Festival Stage, and winning pieces displayed in the La Mesa Library through the month of October.
As the Festival has grown so large, this year it is expanding into more of the park, and will be divided into zones on Energy and Transportation, Horticulture & Habitat, Water, Community, Kids and Food.
A search for more volunteers of all ages has gone out as well. Those interested in volunteering are asked to contact Scott Munzenmaier at 667-1338, firstname.lastname@example.org .
Environmental Sustainability Commisison Chair Gloria Carrillo stated, “As long as there are people who care, reach out and give unselfishly of their time for community service, our city will continue to thrive and be a place of possibility, hope and achievement for future generations and the next hundred years.”
Like the city’s Flag Day Parade, the event is funded by grants, donations from individuals and businesses, including SDGE, EDCO and the California Center for Sustainable Energy, and is staffed by community volunteers.
“A festival like this is an educational process which serves as a foundation for living in a better, and healthier environment, and enjoying a better quality of life,” said Mayor Art Madrid, who initiated the process that lead to the Council’s creation of the city’s Environmental Sustainability Commission.
Click here for the Environmental Sustainability Commission’s web page, a festival flyer, contest entry form and rules, and useful links on sustainability.
Schedule of Speakers
10:00 a.m. “Our Planet, Our Home” Award Ceremony
10:30 a.m. $4,000 Healthy Home Rebates, Dadla Ponizil, California Center for Sustainable Energy
11:10 a.m., “Harvest Rain, Grow Food, save $$$,” Candace Vanderhoff RainThanks, Greywater & Permaculture
11:50 a.m. "Planning & Planting Living Walls,” Georges Fortier Vertical Garden Solutions.com
12:30 p.m. “Community Sustainable Agriculture,” Paul Maschka San Diego City College Urban Agriculture Program
1:10 p.m. “Build a Backyard Butterfly Bonanza,” Robin Rivet, Urban Forestry/Advice & Technical Assistance CenterA
2:00 p.m. Monarch Butterfly Release