April 2014

HOME: Earth Day Community Celebration


Saturday April 26, 12 – 4 pm, Railyard Park, Santa Fe


Griet Laga


This place is home. I feel at home.” What does that really mean? Does the sense of home require a particular connection? Do certain smells, tastes, memories, feelings or people bring us closer into this feeling? How about being at home in ourselves? What are the connections between home, Earth and ourselves?


HOME: Earth Day at the Railyard, on April 26, will be a colorful, village-style community festival in celebration of our interconnectedness with each other and the natural world. More than 30 local groups and community leaders involved in education, restoration, the arts, social and environmental justice and creative community engagement are coming together to create a large-scale event accessible to people of all ages, skill levels and backgrounds. By encouraging year-round stewardship of the Earth, they hope to inspire a deeper sense of place in festival participants.


Wise Fool NM will kick off the festival with a vibrant procession, leaving from the Jean Cocteau Theatre on Montezuma Street at 11:30 am, with music, giant puppets, stilters, costumed characters, banners and boisterous fun. “Everyone is invited to join in this celebratory event that will pump up the visual volume of the voice of our community and express our visions for caring for our home, Earth,” says Amy Christian, Wise Fool NM’s artistic director. “Come dressed in a costume, bring a puppet, sign or instrument, or just show up and help bring to life the giant puppets.” The parade will weave its way through the farmers’ market, attracting locals and visitors alike to Railyard Park.


Young artists from local organizations, including music groups from the Academy for Technology and the Classics, 3HC B-Boys and teen artists from YouthxYouthFest and Wise Fool NM will provide entertainment throughout the park. There will also be a poetry reading, storytelling and plenty of hands-on activities, as well as demonstrations of sustainable practices that can be implemented at home. Presentations will include goats, chickens and beekeeping (with live animals), water conservation, water harvesting, plastic reduction, adobe building, bicycle repair, solar-oven cooking, repurposing and recycling, children’s toy making, gardening, composting, homemade soap and lotion making, use of biochar and rocket stoves, and more. Local experts, including Amanda Bramble, Mark Chalom and Richard Jennings, will present hour-long workshops.


Winners of the 2014 Sustainable Santa Fe Awards will showcase their work at information tables. The SSF Awards highlight innovative projects, programs and organizations that have accomplished initiatives that align with the goals of the city’s Sustainable Santa Fe Plan. Midafternoon, a Bike-a-Thon organized by Earthcare Youth Allies’ will depart from the Railyard Park and head to Zona del Sol Youth and Family Center on the Southside, where they will have a solar system ribbon cutting and community celebration.


A coalition of local groups will be led by Arts of Nature, Wise Fool NM and Kingston Residence of Santa Fe. Partner organizations are Gaia Gardens, Rivers Run through Us, SeedBroadcast Collective, Railyard Stewards, city of Santa Fe, Ampersand Sustainable Learning Center, Earthcare Youth Allies, Sustainable Santa Fe, Radical Homemakers of NM, YouthxYouthFest, Warehouse 21, Youth Media Project, Story of Place Institute, SF Botanical Gardens, Academy for Technology and Classics Music Program, Farmers’ Market Institute, ARTsmart, Randall Davey Audubon Center, Earth’s Birthday Project, NM Academy of International Studies, Cornerstones, Master Gardeners, Keep Santa Fe Beautiful, Jean Cocteau Theatre, NM Health Equity Partnership, and others.


The whole month of April is devoted to Earth Day satellite events that will be held at locations in and around Santa Fe. Visit earthdaysantafe.info to see the listings.




Griet Laga is the program director of Arts of Nature, a nonprofit that works to re-establish a balanced interchange with the natural world, both in individuals and communities. www.artsofnature.org





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