Although Earth Day does not officially take place until tomorrow, over 200 people gathered in Anisq’ Oyo’ Park on Saturday to celebrate the blue and green planet while listening to live music and browsing local wares.
Booths sold local goods and espoused various environmental causes to the sounds of artists Kina Grannis, Boombox Orchestra and Fuzzy Logic as they lofted from the grassy amphitheater. According to event organizer and fourth-year environmental studies major Melinda Clark, the event was designed to merge entertainment and education.
“What we’re trying to do here is a mix between environmental education and a fun festival that tries to have a low environmental impact,” Clark said.
Booths selling trinkets and promoting environmental health were stationed along the pathways. Third-year film & media studies major Cody Simmons manned an Associated Students recycling program booth and urged attendants to sort their waste.
“We’re here to spread awareness for recycling,” Simmons said.
Student groups were not the only parties interested in the message of the festival. Congresswoman Lois Capps and 3rd district supervisor candidates Doreen Farr and Dr. David Bearman were also present at the event to present their views on the cause. Farr said that she would support a mandate for greener construction in the 3rd district.
“I think that the county should do more for sustainability,” Farr said. “We should be encouraging green buildings. We need more requirements for these, instead of just the incentives we have today.”
Bearman said that he would like to see restrictions on environmentally harmful city planning projects.
“I’d like to see the environment protected more than it currently is,” Bearman said. “I’d like to stop urban sprawl and encourage biodiesel fuels.”
Both prospective supervisors said they would work to transform Santa Barbara into a model green county.
Students at the festival said they felt the event achieved its purpose by educating and entertaining participants about Earth conscious issues. Joseph Harvell, a fourth-year global studies major, said he was personally influenced by the message of the music.
“This music really makes me feel the vibes of the earth and want to respect it more,” Harvell said.
Third year film & media studies major Andrew Carlson said that he felt a connection to the planet and thinks that others should treat it with more respect.
“I mean, the earth is totally our mother, man,” Carlson said. “We need to take care of it more.”