April 18, 2013
Tiobe Barron, OVN correspondent
Those looking for something to do in Ojai for this Saturday’s Earth Day need look no further than Oak Grove School. Oak Grove has been producing the local event since 2001. More recently, it has partnered with Food for Thought, the Ojai Valley Green Coalition and the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy.
“It became so intense we asked other non-profits to collaborate,” explained Andy Gilman, director of outreach for Oak Grove.
Last year, between two to three thousand people attended the festivities throughout the day. This year, Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett is slated to kick off the festivities and Assemblyman Das Williams and Assemblywoman Hannah-Beth Jackson are also expected to attend.
In preparation for the event, Oak Grove sent squares of fabric to every school in the community on which students wrote their wishes for the Earth. These will be strung together Tibetan prayer flag-style and displayed at the event.
“We have really been working to create a whole-community event,” said Gilman.
The local business community has rallied around the event, contributing items for a raffle, that will cover the event’s costs. Raffle prizes include tastings at the Ojai Beverage Company, dinner for two at the Deer Lodge, an electric bike rental from The MOB Shop, among many others. The grand prize is either $4,000 cash or a trip for four to New York City, including airfare, hotel and tickets to a Broadway show.
Food vendors will range from a vegan Jamaican option to Jim and Rob’s Fresh Grill and even fare from the Oak Grove School chef. Musical talents scheduled to perform include the Ojai Youth Symphony, school bands from Nordhoff High School, Besant Hill and Oak Grove, as well as from Dave Palmer and Friends and others.
Activities range from free yoga lessons to solar-powered Lego creations, a rock wall and bubble roller, as well as peace stick demonstrations and Aztec dancing.
Booths will inform attendees about sustainable farming, conservancy, electric vehicles and more. Ojai Food Co-op, California Solar Electric, EJ Harrison & Sons, Los Padres Forest Watch and others will have exhibits as well.
In honor of the event, Ojai Trolley will provide free rides all day.
“Earth Day gives us an international day of intention on community, sustainability and regenerating our planet,” said Green Coalition executive director Deborah Pendrey. “It’s a way for Ojai to work together to ensure our community will be here for our children and grandchildren.”
The Earth Day celebrations are free to the public, and will run this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Oak Grove School, 220 W. Lomita Ave. in Ojai.
Visit www.ojaiearthday.org or call 646-8236 for more information.