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Going Green on Whidbey Island

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Spring in Your Step

March 23rd, 2013 at Sat, 23rd, 2013 at 9:29 am by maribeth crandell

Two whale watching tours benefit local groups.

Fields of daffodils are blooming in the Skagit Valley and Tulips are soon to follow, a sure sign of spring (despite snow on the first day).  Spring is full of surprises and full of activities!  I have a T-shirt that says Earth Day is Everyday and that is certainly true in April.  In fact, the Earth Day activity starts in March with a concert by musical activist, Dana Lyons who will give a Coal Train Concert at the Universalist Unitarian Church just north of Freeland at 7pm March 29th.  The $10 tickets are available at the door or through BrownPaperTickets.com

Through the month of April a wide array of activities and events will be posted together at www.whidbeyearthday.org   Go there for a comprehensive list, updates and details.

From bird watching to whale watching, from beach clean-ups to tire recycling, lectures, movies and pub talks from Langley to Oak Harbor.  I’m most excited about the latter.  Pub Talks are something new for Whidbey Island.  There are several scheduled with topics including whales, micro-plastics, energy efficiency, recycling and climate change.  Experts from the Island and some from the University of Washington or NOAA will be there to introduce the topics but they aren’t planning to make presentations.  They want to engage the public in discussion while you sip a glass of wine or enjoy a beer in your favorite pub or winery.  They call it Sipping Science.

If you’re interested in getting your scout troop, class, or club out for an Earth Day activity check out the times and places for beach clean-ups throughout the month.   Bags and disposal are available free, so all you need to do is show up.  Or join the Whidbey Island Conservation District to clean up the Rain Garden in Freeland Park on April 21st.  Call 678-4708 for details.

On April 26 at 1pm I’ll lead a program for kids at the Coupeville Elementary School multi-purpose room about the 3 R’s, reduce, reuse and recycle.  They’ll get a chance to test their sorting skills in a Recycle Relay and I’ll bring my banjo for a song at the end.

If you’re more the movie going type go to Langley at noon April 27 to see Chasing Ice at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts.  The film has stunning photography by James Balog, a National Geographic Photographer who set up cameras all over the globe to shoot some of the most incredible glacier calving events ever caught on film.  Come early and stay late to visit displays and talk with Island groups that are working on water quality, salmon restoration and other local issues.

Put on your running shoes because Spring is officially here and you’ll need to step lively to keep up!

Maribeth Crandell has a green thumb. Most of the rest of her is "green", as well. She's worked in city, state and national parks as a naturalist, educator and guide, on ships and on shore from the Columbia River to Southeast Alaska. She offers presentations for 6 year olds to seniors. She publishes articles, sings songs, plays the banjo and hikes trails. In fact, in 2006 she hiked the 2,000 mile long Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. She's been an educator for the Whidbey Institute, Fort Casey State Park, the Whidbey Watershed Stewards Outdoor Classroom, Island County Recycling, Ebey's Landing National Historic Reserve and for 5 years worked as the Environmental Educator for the City of Oak Harbor. She's been a consistent voice on Whidbey Island leading the way toward sustainability. Because Maribeth has a green thumb, along with the rest of her.

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