Earth Day may officially fall on April 22, but local nonprofit Earth Care kicks the festivities off early this weekend. Its Earth Day Community Event offers a plethora of opportunities to help heal the local environment and learn how to continue doing so in the future. ---

"A lot of other communities in New Mexico may not have Earth Day events, so in the future it'd be nice if every community could have them," Earth Care Outreach and Development Coordinator Angela Harris says. "I think that it'll continue to expand. The district is on board and students are excited. Hopefully more of them will be inspired to start projects of their own."

The event, which Earth Care is hosting in association with co-sponsors Roots and Shoots, the City of Santa Fe and Santa Fe Public Schools, begins at Nancy Rodriguez Community Center. After registration, participants split  up and are transported by bus to one of three morning projects.

At Agua Fria Elementary School, help with weeding, cleaning and soil work at the school's new garden location. At Santa Fe Community Farm, participate in landscaping, field preparation and planting bushes and vegetables. Or, in a residential neighborhood near the community center, plant native plants on a parcel eroded by the Santa Fe River. The river project includes education on land restoration and using rock dams to prevent erosion.

Afterward, take a load off at Nancy Rodriguez Community Center for a free lunch, prepared by local youths. Enjoy pizza, frittata and banana bread while listening to live music from local band Treemotel. Chainbreaker Collective offers bicycle repair and Big Sky Learning puts on a solar demonstration.

A presentation of sustainability awards to various Santa Fe public schools for their environmental projects follows.

The all-day Earth Day celebration doesn't stop there. In the evening, Earth Care hosts "Art to Awaken," an art and social change show. Youth artists present both visual and spoken word art aimed at bringing awareness to social and environmental issues.

Earth Day Community Event

9:30 am-2 pmSaturday, April 16


Nancy Rodriguez Community Center1 Prairie Dog Loop983-6896

Art to Awaken

7-11 pmSaturday, April 16


Warehouse 211614 Paseo de Peralta989-4423