Celebrate Earth Day at the 2nd Annual Earth Day Expo, a weekend filled with family fun and educational opportunity for all ages!
This event has been a collaborative effort between the Black Hills Chapter of Dakota Rural Action and the Rapid City Sustainability Committee. The two organizations have worked on other events together and support like values in the world of sustainability and community development.
Earth Day Expo is one of thousands being held around the world. Earth Day was started in 1970 when 20 million people gathered in the streets and on college campuses of the U.S. to protect environmental and human health. An environmental movement was born as a result. Every year on Earth Day, men, women, and children collect garbage, plant trees, show movies, sign petitions, and plan for a better future for our planet. Here in Rapid City we have long celebrated Earth Day with the “City Wide Clean Up Week” and other events promoted by the City of Rapid City. This year, there are three parts to the Earth Day Expo weekend:
Dark Sky Hour
Main Street Square, Downtown Rapid City
Friday, April 21, 8am – 9:30pm
March for Science
Meet at SDSM&T Surbeck Center parking lot
Saturday, April 22, 9am – 10:30am
Earth Day Expo – Main Event
4-H Building, Central States Fairgrounds
Saturday, Apr 22 and Sunday, Apr 23, 10am – 4pm
You’ll be able to enjoy include various vendors, speakers, and booths of local organizations, along with music, food, electric cars and other entertainment.
To get an insight into the event, we asked Kelly Moore, event organizer and Rapid City Sustainability Committee member, a few questions about the weekend:
Seeing downtown go dark will be a unique experience! What motivates you to make it happen in our community as part of the Earth Day Expo and how will it impact those who attend?
The hope is to show the community how light pollution is keeping us from seeing the stars at night. A lot of light fixtures in our town reflect light upward into the sky and these lights flood out the stars, wasting energy. An attraction of the event is that many people will be able to see the moons of Jupiter for the first time through some very nice telescopes, or nocturnal Raptors they normally wouldn’t see. The biggest impact of the Dark Hour will be felt when the lights are turned back on and people will see the stars disappear.
You have multiple presentation stages during the two-day Expo, why do you feel it’s important to have one for adults and one for youth?
The youth are the most important members of our community, so most of the presentations are geared to their interests, some are also hands on – kind of like the Bill Nye approach. The adult presentation stage is a little more educational in nature and the subject matter is more in-depth, like uranium mining. Both stages will have their own different themes; Saturday will be focused on the environment and climate change while Sunday focuses on healthier living.
Can you tell us who the vendors, speakers, and local organizations are going to be at the Expo?
Black Hills Toyota
Deb’s Downhome Delights
Mary Deibert – Carbon Fee and Dividend | Citizens Climate Lobby / Dakota Rural Action
Alan Anderson – Climate Change | Citizens Climate Lobby / Dakota Rural Action / Rapid City Sustainability Committee
Matt Bunkers PhD – Weather Effects & Climate Change | Science and Operations Officer, National Weather Service
Lilias Jarding PhD – Uranium Mining | Clean Water Alliance / Dakota Rural Action
Jason Philips – Living Roofs, Low Impact Development | SDSM&T / Rapid City Sustainability Committee
Eirik Heikes – Pollinator Awareness | Rapid City Sustainability Committee
Beth Anne Farley – Reduce Reuse Recycle | RC Sustainability Coordinator
Alexis Long – Biomimicry Challenge | SDSM&T
Cole Sawyer – Biochemistry for Kids | SDSM&T
Michelle Grosek – Organic gardening | Bear Butte Gardens
Sean Holleam – Pick It! Try It! Like It! / Cantaloupe Cooler | SDSU Extension
Cathie Draine – Making Your Own Seed Tapes | Master Gardeners / Farmers Market
Jason Philips – Living Roofs, Low Impact Devolvement | SDSM&T / Rapid City Sustainability Committee
Sonny Rivers – Sustainable Energy / Solar | EcoWorks Solar / Dakota Rural Action
Barbara Garcia – Tiny Home Development in Rapid City | City of Rapid City
Bill Nye – Bill Nye Saves the World | YouTube
Rapid City Community Conversations
Black Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
Prairie Hills Audubon Society
Area 4-H clubs
Dakota Rural Action
Citizen Climate lobby
Rapid City Izaak Walton League of America
Rapid City Urban Wildlife Committee
Clean Water Alliance
Democracy in Action
Rapid City Sustainability Committee
Rapid City Recycling Program
Death with Dignity
Scenic Rapid City
Leave No Trace
Why is it important for the Earth Day Expo to focus on the youth in our community?
As a grandfather I worry about the state of our planet, climate change, and what my generation is leaving my grand kids. I would like to think I am doing my small part to change the direction we are currently headed.
Anything else you’d like to highlight about the event?
Currently we have Chevrolet, Toyota and Honda bringing their electric cars for people to see and test drive and we will have lots of entertainment for the kids throughout the weekend! It is truly a family event.
We’d like to thank Kelly for taking time to answer our questions! We hope you can make it to the Earth Day Expo, it sounds like an action-packed weekend of activities for the whole family.
Also happening this weekend – the Banff Mountain Film Festival at the Elks Theatre on Saturday, April 22, 6:30pm and Sunday, April 23 at 3:30pm. Experience adrenaline-packed action sports and explore the world’s last great wild places – raw, real life adventure on the big screen!