Approximately 2,000 people attended the Earth Day celebration in Anisq’ Oyo’ Park on Saturday, where ideas about peace and environmentalism flowed as freely as the beer.
The Associated Students Environmental Affairs Board and the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District sponsored the annual festival, which featured free yoga lessons, massages and eight different bands. Event co-coordinator Lauren Hartman said she is proud of how the festival turned out.
“Overall, the event was a great success,” Hartman, a third-year English major, said. “The Isla Vista community enjoyed the festivities, bands and info. booths while coming together to celebrate the earth.”
Fourth-year political science major Michelle Jagelka, who helped coordinate the event, said the festival was criticized by some local residents for the amount of waste it produces, but she said this year’s cleanup was much smoother than in past years and only took approximately two hours.
Festival co-coordinator Allessandra Baer, a second-year business economics major, said local residents joined EAB members to collect the garbage in the park and recycle all the empty cans and bottles after the festival ended.
“It was just great to see other people – not just [EAB members] – helping to clean up,” Baer said.
Despite the 10 extra garbage cans and recycling bins EAB provided to keep the park clean, there was still a great deal of litter throughout the park during the event. Jagelka said large events like the Earth Day celebration always produce waste, and she spent much of the event reminding attendees to clean up after themselves.
“The recycling bins and trashcans dispersed throughout the park made it easier for community members to show their concern for the earth,” Hartman said.
This year’s Earth Day festival was also the first to feature a keynote speaker. Professor Emeritus Roderick Nash, the founder of UCSB Environmental Studies Program, spoke about the goals of the Earth Day holiday. Roderick read a mock personal advertisement in which he said the earth is a “temperate and beautiful planet seeking a long-term relationship with an intelligent life form.”
Janet Groth, a first-year art history major, said she attended the festival because she wanted to support the local community and show her concern for the environment.
“[I came] because I care about the environment, and I just wanted to come out and support that – and experience the local community,” Groth said.
Second-year business economics major Phillip Emmerich said he came to the event because he wanted to enjoy the festivities.
“It’s a good excuse for people to get high and come watch cool stuff,” Emmerich said.