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Celebrate Earth Day on the beach

SECS provides line-up of green tips and song

Organizers of this year's Earth Day celebrations are focusing on empowering local residents with the knowledge needed to make tangible impacts on the oftentimes overwhelming issue of global climate change.

The Squamish Environmental Conservation Society (SECS) is leading the way for a more eco-friendly Squamish by gathering a line-up of educational speakers and businesses focused on green initiatives at Nexen Beach on Sunday (April 19) to show local residents that it's possible to play a part in a global sea change, said SECS president Catherine Jackson.

"We all accept that climate change is an issue and we need to do our part, but I think a lot of people are looking for real, practical solutions for what they can do," she said.

"It's exciting to give people ideas on what they can do in their own homes to save energy and money."

Information on provincial and federal government grants for green retrofitting projects will be available along with tips on how to make green lifestyle changes.

The festivities will rev up exhaust-free as residents are invited to gather at the Adventure Centre at 11:15 a.m. for a group bike ride to Nexen Beach, said SECS board member Lorrie Lech.

"We're trying to get as many people as possible out of their cars and on their bikes," she said.

A drum circle will provide the rhythm before Wilderness Committee campaign director Joe Foy speaks on independent power projects (IPP) and the threats he believes they pose to local creeks and rivers.

Chris Joseph will be talking about BC-STV, or British Columbia Single Transferable Vote, which is the electoral concept that could replace the current first past the post electoral system in a referendum being held in conjunction with May's provincial election.

Coun. Patricia Heintzman intends to speak on the projects initiated by the District of Squamish over the last few years as well as those yet to come.

"They'll hear about what the district's trying to do and I'd like to open it up for anyone who wants to chat with me or anyone else who is there about where we can go in the future," said Heintzman.

At 1 p.m., guests can join Nature Trust BC conservation specialist Jason Northcott on a guided ecology walk through the estuary, including Cattermole Creek, which is one of the estuary's most ecologically diverse and productive areas.

After everyone's legs are warmed up from the walk, live music from Andrea Graham, Dana-Marie Battaglia and young local band Good Day for an Ayr Stryke will get people dancing throughout the afternoon.

And bring the kids and an appetite because there will be lots of activities to keep them busy and a barbecue with meat and non-meat burgers and hot dogs.

Earth Day is celebrated by 1 billion people in more than 170 countries, according to Earth Day Canada. Jackson said she hopes the people of Squamish come out in droves to honour the beauty of our natural world.

"I think it's a good way for the community to come together to celebrate the environment and the amazing place where we live."

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. A full schedule of events is available at