Botanic Gardens celebrate Earth Day

The Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens celebrated Earth Day with a fair on Saturday. The second annual event, "Living in Harmony with Nature," turned the gardens into a spectacle of different tables celebrating the earth with exhibits dedicated to plants, animals, energy, water, food and music. Nature interpreters Beverly Pemberton (left) of Claremont and Susan Hutson (right) of Pomona are volunteers who set up a display of the flowers that are currently in bloom at the garden. To become a nature interpreter, volunteers must go through a training process. / photo by Jennifer Contreras
The Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens celebrated Earth Day with a fair on Saturday. The second annual event, “Living in Harmony with Nature,” turned the gardens into a spectacle of different tables celebrating the earth with exhibits dedicated to plants, animals, energy, water, food and music. Nature interpreters Beverly Pemberton (left) of Claremont and Susan Hutson (right) of Pomona are volunteers who set up a display of the flowers that are currently in bloom at the garden. To become a nature interpreter, volunteers must go through a training process. / photo by Jennifer Contreras

by Melissa Lau
Features Editor

Last Saturday Earth Day was celebrated with the help of the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens in Claremont and a variety of local organizations. The festivities took place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Among the booths set up were the Pomona Valley Audubon Society, the County of Los Angeles Fire Department, the Hilltoppers Garden Club and the city of Claremont.

The Pomona Valley Audubon Society brought two owls with them, which sat perched on their arms. In an effort to raise money for the owls and other birds, they sold t-shirts for $15.

The County of Los Angeles Fire Department gave away plants as well as information about plants and fires. They had an informational sheet that discussed how goats were used to eat away potentially fire-causing brush in Claremont.

Toyota Lincoln-Mercury in Hollywood presented a Toyota Rav4 and a Toyota Prius. The Rav4 is an electric vehicle; the Prius is a hybrid gas-electric car.

The city of Claremont displayed its own energy efficient car and had information about biodiesel fuel. They also had fliers notifying the public of the upcoming E-waste collection on May 18 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The collection at the Claremont City Yard is for electronic items including computers, televisions and cell phones that are, according to the flier, approaching the end of their “useful life.”

The Agricultural Commissioner and the weights and measures department of the County of Los Angeles also had a booth.

They are responsible for determining possible threats, such as Africanized bees or fire ants. They also eliminate weeds to reduce the chance of fire, said Agricultural Inspector Mahmood Waseeq.

If there is a question in determining whether an ant or group of ants are fire ants, this department is the one to call.

“It is a very aggressive type of insect,” Waseeq said. “We try to keep the public safe from this insect.”

He also spoke about Africanized bees. Also known as ‘killer bees,’ Waseeq said the term is an exaggeration. Africanized bees do the same activities as regular bees, except they are more aggressive when disturbed.

They do not hunt for humans as the media portrays, Waseeq said, who added it is not possible to differentiate a European honeybee from an Africanized bee just by using the naked eye.

Full of Life, a café located in Claremont, was a participating food vendor. It uses all organic ingredients and adds no fat or preservatives. The family-owned business was begun four years ago by Clark and Donna Staub.

“Clark just had a passion for bread,” said café manager Starr Cornwall.

Staub, who used to work for Capitol Records, makes bread as a hobby. He turned it into a business four years ago. Although its only location is in Claremont, the company hopes to expand someday.

Staub also began the Farmers’ Market in Claremont.

Discovery carts for children were also available. These carts, which are run by volunteers, help children understand the parts of a flower and how they work. They are even given a stick so they can pollinate the flowers nearby.

Jim Curry and Company performed live entertainment on the California Courtyard stage in the morning.

In the afternoon, a book reading of “Joey and the Boojum Tree” was held in the Auditorium. Smokey the Bear was also scheduled to visit the Garden around this time.

In the Home Demonstration Garden, Native American storytelling took place.

The next event at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden will be the California Deserts Day on Sunday, June 2, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

There will be animals, games and a scavenger hunt. Admission is free.

For more information, call (909) 625-8767 or visit www.rsabg.org.

Other Stories

Journalism operations manager at the University of La Verne. Production manager and business manager of the Campus Times.

Latest Stories

Related articles

Garden Festival considers drought solutions

The California Botanic Garden in Claremont hosted the “Waterwise Community Festival” Sunday to spread awareness about the issues of climate change and water conservation, and the particular challenges the state faces in light of a historic drought. 

Students mark Earth Day with beach cleanup

The University of La Verne’s Office of Civic and Community Engagement paired up with the La Verne Ocean Movement Club to host a beach cleanup at Bolsa Chica State Beach in Huntington Beach on Saturday.

Clubs gather to promote sustainability and environmentalism

The Campus Activities Board hosted an Earth Day event with the aim to educate people on how to be more environmentally friendly at the Abraham Campus Center on April 22.

Sculptures bring energy to Botanic Gardens

Clay models made with soil from the California Botanic Garden by artist Brandon Lomax are on display as part of the “(Re)Place” exhibit at the garden in Claremont.