Sturgeons are cool and other lessons from Earth Day 2010
By Karen McColl
With climate change and a plethora of other environmental issues looming at the forefront of our minds these days, it’s nice to have an occasion to have fun and celebrate the earth for all its goodness.
What a better way to do this than to take part in annual Earth day festivities! Activities on Sunday organized by the North Columbia Environmental Society (NCES) and local businesses served to remind us to stay connected with the earth and to get excited about the arrival of spring.
After taking in a free earth day vinyasa yoga class at Taproot yoga centre, one merely had to skip over to Grizzly Plaza to enjoy several family-friendly activities organized by the NCES.
Seed planting, wooden sturgeon painting, birdfeeder making, mural painting, and a seed and book exchange kept young people busy and artful. Several volunteers and many Brownies and Sparks from the Girl Guides Association spread out on a litter pick up. Music provided by Blind Spot in the afternoon ensured a steady trickle of individuals and families stopping by Grizzly Plaza to enjoy the festivities and community atmosphere in the warm sunshine.
A salmon and sturgeon themed mural which was near completion at the end of the day will hang on the wall outside Castle Joe Books with the addition of some of the painted wooden sturgeon. The rest of the 180 sturgeons will be put along the fence in Centennial Park near the river.
NCES Environmental coordinator Hailey Ross, chief organizer of the Grizzly Plaza activities, came up with the idea of using the sturgeon as the icon of the Earth Week 2010 Festivities.
“Sturgeons are cool,” said Ross explaining some of the littler known facts about sturgeon. Sturgeons are the largest freshwater fish in Canada and can reach over six metres in length –similar to the length of a great white shark! At over six hundred kilograms, they certainly are cool, but what’s more is that they are also a species at risk, meaning that their populations have been threatened, due mostly to habitat loss.
Sturgeons are native to the Columbia River, and a sturgeon release involving local first nations groups took place on Friday morning, coinciding with Earth Week festivities.
The idea of the painted sturgeons is to create more awareness of what is in our rivers and to increase environmental stewardship and responsibility.
Check out the pictures below of this year’s Earth Day celebrations.