Earth Day a party for Whidbey

  • By Andrea McInnis / Herald Writer
  • Thursday, April 19, 2007 9:00pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

Kids’ activities, guest speakers and information booths about conservation and eco-friendly products, along with lots of local artwork, are all on tap for “The Earth Day Celebration” Sunday on Whidbey Island.

A pair of artists approached Marian Myszkowski last year, hoping to put on a community art exhibition at the Bayview Cash Store.

Though many of the island’s artists participated in last year’s show, and it proved to be something the community enjoyed, Myszkowski says she and the two artists, Toni Marthaller and David Iles, saw potential for an event with a wider variety of activities. This year’s “Earth Day Celebration” is the fruit of those visions.

Myszkowski is the director of program and fund development for Goosefoot Community Fund, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve and enhance Whidbey Island’s community through events that benefit the public.

To prepare for the event, she worked with Marthaller, an artist who also is a family nurse practitioner at Whidbey General Hospital’s South Whidbey Clinic, and Iles, an artist who also works at a local children’s center.

“This is home to so many people working toward a healthier and more sustainable environment,” Marthaller said. “On Earth Day 2007 here at Bayview Corner, they’ll be sharing their knowledge through discussions and information booths with neighbors near and far.”

Guest speakers will include a naturopathic physician, a plant and evolutionary ecology expert, and a panel of speakers on the topic of environmentally friendly building materials.

A teen marimba band, the Langley Middle School jazz band and the Open Circle Singers community choir will perform. Guests are invited to bring instruments from home for an open jam session.

Kids’ activities will include tree planting, story telling and performances by the Stilt Man.

Admission to the festival is free. Visitors are also encouraged to bring items such as pebbles, pine cones and flower blossoms for a community mandala project with local artist Rob Schouten.

Loosely translated, “mandala,” a word from the Sanskrit Indian language, means “a symbolic diagram,” usually in the form of a circle.

The event will offer on-site food booths, as well as take-out food and snacks from nearby stores, and sit-down meals at the 3Cats Cafe.

Furthermore, “Celebrating our Earth with Art,” the show that led to the creation of Sunday’s event, will be open today through Tuesday in the Cash Store Front Room. Admission is free.

Myszkowski said locations for some events may change depending on the weather, but the celebration will go on, rain or shine. Furthermore, she said, this will become an annual event, so the community can plan on celebrating Earth Day for years to come.

Natural mandalas (left and below) created by Whidbey artist Rob Schouten and the Dharmic Engineers.

Art from last year’s Earth Day community art show included works by David Iles (left) and Toni Marthaller (above).

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