Spokane Celebrates Earth Day at Riverfront Park

By Steve Jackson

The Saturday Earth Day celebration will be in a familiar place. After a couple of years holding the event on the streets of downtown Spokane, the location has been changed back to Riverfront Park.

Sherry Urann is an Earth Day organizer. She says "moving Earth Day back in to the park is an opportunity to bring awareness to the beautiful river and the falls, and also to remind us of all the intentions that came with the building of the park during the 1974 World's Fair."

It is the 40th anniversary of Expo 74, the first such event with an environmental theme. Urann says this years event will have a somewhat different focus than in the past, by putting a focus on creativity, and positively interacting with the environment.

Urann: “The shift to having this symbiotic relation ship to the earth starts in very simple ways, like interacting with one another, so there are lots of artists, and were trying to cultivate it as an experience, and not just an event with vendors and information.”
 
Among some of the displays, one by a performance art group called the Spokane area Silk Performers and creative projects for kids that bring awareness of air quality. Also this year there will be a Native American presence.

Deb Abrahamson is a Spokane Tribal member, who says traditional native teachings hold that every day is Earth day. And although that knowledge may have been lost by society, it is making it’s way back into the mainstream.

Abrahamson: “There’s a resurgence at this point in time where young people are moving forward and again grasping the indigenous knowledge, and again putting things back together.”
 
Native Americans will conduct the opening ceremonies for the event, and there will be displays of several tribes work on environmental issues, including radiation screening in relation to the compensation for former uranium and Hanford workers.

The Earth Day celebration will be held in Riverfront park Saturday from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
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