The bizarre year of 2020 was both the longest year ever (not to be debated), but also seemed to disappear completely from the Gregorian calendar.
There is, however, historical evidence that the year did exist. In 2020 alone, Australian bushfires wiped out 46 million acres, the coronavirus wiped out millions of humans with its spreading anger, a presidential impeachment trial brought Americans to their knees, protest movements Racial equity has taken over the nation, young children have become distance learners, and many more events have occurred that have been suppressed for mental health reasons.
Yet all of these world-changing events are just a dot on Mother Earth’s clock. In a year, according to the US Global Change Research Programour area has seen increased heat levels, declining water supplies, widespread drought and insect outbreaks – all factors that have led to thick Colorado brush, mountainsides and homes which burst into flames fanned by hurricane-force winds.
The Marshall Fire spread to the most destructive wildfire in Colorado’s history in 2021. And that was December, which changed the paradigm to a year-round wildfire season. A season with sweltering air quality, natural resources and family homes on the prowl – it shows the planet’s desperate need for cooling. Like now.
Yesterday was action time. Celebrating Mother Earth in the future will be difficult if she is engulfed in flames.
Boulder, always ahead of the curve, prioritizes durability. Let’s celebrate Mother’s Day on Earth with educational events, film festivals, art exhibits, nature celebrations and guidance on how we can create a sustainable future.
The weekend is filled with Front Range events that visitors are encouraged to attend by bike, carpool, public transport – in the most sustainable way possible.
Bonus: Until Sunday, BCycle is offering free unlimited 60-minute e-bike rides with a three-day weekend pass (use the “Bosch Earth Day Pass” on the app). BCycle has 38 stations around Boulder and over 250 bikes around town. No excuses.
Since Boulder loves bikes, Community rounds launch a Inaugural Bicycle Film Festival Friday. Proof of Boulder’s affection for all things two-wheeled, the festival has already sold out two of its slots (the 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. events). There is room left over for the Friday 9 p.m. sessions where viewers can watch a series of short films on the bike.
There will also be panel discussions and vendors. A $30 ticket will provide attendees with finger foods and a drink. Events are held at The Furnace, 2101 Pearl St., Boulder.
Colorado Environmental Film Festival ended its virtual event last month, but is expanding its reach with a some pop-up projections for Earth Day. It will screen six shorts and one feature at 7 p.m. Friday at Denver’s Sie Cinema Center2510 E. Colfax Ave., and four shorts at Denver’s BRDG project Contemporary Art Space, 553 Platte St. (under the Highland Bridge).
The BRDG Project will pay homage to the almighty woody perennial at its “Tree Language” event which features a group art exhibit with 20 artists from across Colorado. The opening reception, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, will feature “Koa Talking to Me,” “Seas of Trees,” “Yoshino Ringyo,” and “Treeline.” A live interpretive dance piece will follow a seedbed installation.
The “Language of Trees” exhibition features an array of artworks in a variety of mediums – and many artists have used repurposed tree elements.
Dutch artist Jessica Moon Bernstein Schianoa graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder, has used her art as a platform to raise awareness for the planet for years.
Huge sound Installation “our rubber” — made up of hard-to-recycle bicycle inner tubes — took up an entire gallery space at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art in 2011. She uses her work to highlight devastation and enhance harmony in nature.
“Where Do All the Buffalo Roam,” his piece on the Denver show, spotlights the buffalo, a sentinel species, with mixed media on wood. These sentinel animals are harbingers of danger to humans and therefore rely on the human impact on the planet to be light.
Denver Artist Brett Matarazzo told Shoutout Colorado that he was a “dumpster diver” and a scavenger. He uses reclaimed wood as his canvas – wood that carries historic stories of old neighborhoods, family dinner tables and razed buildings making way for gentrification.
As a member of a Denver art collective, he dedicates his time to social issues and sticks to his mission of keeping local art at the forefront of his communities. His expansive multimedia pieces, ranging from furniture to wall art, often feature photography, typography, and etched or laser engraved elements.
Colorado Springs-based artist Shannon Mello creates encaustic art coated with beeswax, tree resin and pigment. It forms rows of pine trees drenched in morning mist and earth-toned landscapes celebrating the great outdoors.
The exhibit runs until April 28 with a closing reception at 6 p.m. On Saturday from 4-5pm there will be further documentary screenings alongside a guest speaker on the environment who will talk about trees.
Former President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said that “a nation that destroys its soil destroys itself”.
“Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving new strength to our people.”
Earth Day Celebration in Boulder: Resource Central and Ecocycle are hosting a party for Mother Earth on Friday with a revamped reveal of Resource Central’s year-long improvement project. Families can tour the facilities, shop during the Earth Day sale, participate in kid-friendly activities and enjoy live music from Big Paddy (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) followed by two rock bands from the Boulder School (1 p.m. to 3 p.m.). The Go Green Gourmet food truck will serve healthy sandwich pies; 9am-5pm Friday; free; Resource Center, 6400 Arapahoe Road, Boulder.
Earth Day Celebration at Longmont: This annual celebration is back with a full day of lasting fun on Saturday. There will be dozens of educational booths and hands-on activities for kids (recycled art, pollinators, birds of prey, a seeding station, composting demonstrations, a festival of short films for young people, spending time with baby goats and a concert with Jeff and Paige), all followed by a climate rally that will leave the museum at 2 p.m. for a 30-minute walk to spread love for the planet; 10am-3pm Saturday; free; Longmont Museum, 400 Quail Road, Longmont.
Spring Festival: Pack a lunch and head to Sombrero Marsh in East Boulder where Thorne Nature Experience educators are hosting a children’s party for Mother Earth. Kids can participate in activities, bird watching, create art projects, dance to music by Jeff & Paige, explore on scavenger hunts, and engage in hands-on nature play. The conservation area, an alkaline marsh, is rare in this region. Visitors can walk around and experience the unique habitat and wildlife; free; 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Friday; 1466 N 63rd St., Boulder.
Earth Day at The Shack: The Shack in Lafayette calls on all humans to join in an afternoon of exhibits and activities at this education between Waneka Lake and Greenlee Wildlife Preserve. Learn about Colorado’s native plants, the Earth’s sustainable future, and more; 1-3 p.m. Saturday; free; Greenlee Wildlife Preserve, 1600 Caria Drive, Lafayette.
precious earth: Mother-daughter custom jewelry boutique, Love Saro, is teaming up with On Beat Vintage to host Precious Earth, a vendor village and event to celebrate Mother Earth. There will be over 15 local artisans and makers coming together for a day of creative expression and giving back to the Earth. The event will include jewelry, aura photography, tarot readings, live music, artisan products, local kombucha, vegan and gluten-free snacks and more; 11am-5pm Saturday; free; Love Saro, 2555 49th St., Boulder.
Earth Day Nature Hike: Nederland’s nature and education centre, Wild Bear, will have experienced guides leading an Earth Day hike from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday; Suggested donation of $10; Meet at the Wild Bear Nature Center in the Caribou Village Shopping Center, 20 Lakeview Drive, Nederland.
Dedication to rock carving: With funding from Boulder philanthropists Grace and Gordon Gamm, the Boulder Rotary Club and the Boulder Museum will dedicate a new kinetic sculpture by Charles Sturrock as part of the Infinite Walk of Peace project. The dedication will begin at the Canyon Theater at the Boulder Public Library, followed by a short walk on the Infinite Walk of Peace (adjacent to the library) to the lawn of the Boulder Municipal Building. The program will include presentations from Boulder Mayor Aaron Brockett, City Manager Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde and former Congressman David Skaggs, as well as live music. Additionally, UC professors Jenny Price, Beth Osnes, Michelle Ellsworth, and Patty Limerick will present an event on climate change, “Hopeless Optimism,” urging the public to pay attention to environmental issues; 2:30 p.m. Friday; free; 1001 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder.