July 26, 2014

Topanga’s First Earth Action Day Inspires Gardening and Conservation

 

PHOTO BY ANTHONY VEREBES MESSENGER © 2014

Topanga’s First Earth Action Day Inspires Gardening and Conservation

Carolyn Day shows off plants for the Children’s Organic Garden that she created on the slope behind the Community House.With help from parents and volunteers, the garden will serve as a natural way for Topanga’s children to get back to their roots.

In keeping with the spirit of Earth Day, on Sunday, April 27, the Topanga Community Club (TCC) held its first annual Earth Action Day, which was an educational, family-oriented day full of earth-friendly activities.

The free event at the Community House featured vendors who taught about recycling, turning paper into art, paper making, gardening, composting, keeping chickens and saving water.

Additionally, the day was a “ZERO-Waste” event with recycling experts on hand to answer questions and give talks about reducing waste and inform the community about the long-term plan for the Topanga Community Club to become a 90 percent “Zero Waste” facility before 2018.

Earth Action Day was primarily organized by a group of dedicated Topanga women, among them, Kelly Rockwell, Nonie Shore, Gabriel Lamirand, Vickie Kahle and Lisa Richardson. While the turnout was quiet, it was exactly what it was meant to be; an interactive educational event that will grow over time.

PHOTO BY ANNEMARIE DONKIN MESSENGER © 2014

Topanga’s First Earth Action Day Inspires Gardening and Conservation

Some of the committee members and folks who helped make Earth Action Day possible, are, from left, Nonie Shore, Tom Mitchell, Kelly Rockwell and Bonnie Morgan, who headed up the ZERO-Waste program at the event.

“It’s for the fellow Topanga community members to help; we don’t need it huge because serving the community is our goal,” said Bonnie Morgan, one of the organizers of the event who instigated eliminating any and all paper and plastic plates and utensils at TCC events.

Morgan and Victoria Charles showed kids how to become “Zero Heroes” by learning the difference between trash, recycling and compost.

Overall, it was a decidedly mellow affair, with acoustic bands like Joseph Peck and James David Pless on steel drums and guitar, respectively. Below and behind the Community House were many more interactive demonstrations and hands-on workshops for young and old in gardening, composting and water conservation.

In the parking lot, Ken Widen thrilled families with his demonstration on how to cook eggs and baked potatoes on a solar cooker.

Further down under a tent, carpenter Roy Miles displayed and sold his fabulous custom-made owl box kits.

PHOTO BY ANTHONY VEREBES MESSENGER © 2014

Topanga’s First Earth Action Day Inspires Gardening and Conservation

Rebecca Goldfarb of T-CEP and the Topanga Town Council shows off a tray of oak saplings supplied by the Forest Service for people to plant to replenish the oak canopy in Topanga.

Rebecca Goldfarb and James Grasso managed a booth for T-CEP and the Topanga Town Council, offering information about fire and earthquake safety. They also gave away oak saplings provided by the Department of Forestry that were tucked inside small burlap bags made especially for the event by Jane Donaldson’s Sew Topanga.

Shawn Blunt from the West Basin Municipal Water District enthusiastically handed out blue totes filled with water conservation information, a reusable plastic cup and five-minute hourglass- shaped shower timers.

PHOTO BY ANTHONY VEREBES MESSENGER © 2014

Topanga’s First Earth Action Day Inspires Gardening and Conservation

Carpenter Roy Miles shows off his fabulous owl box, bird houses and a custom-made gardening bench made mostly of found wood. He also sold owl box kits to attract more owls to Topanga.

To tempt the palette, the Sages had a luscious bake sale manned by Dayna Miller and Roberta Koehl. Inside the Community House one could also purchase delicious hand-held food and wraps that did not require any plastic plates or utensils.

Many visitors to Earth Action Day also brought their e-waste to the Electronics Waste Drop Zone on the side of the driveway.

Old computers and outdated electronics filled huge boxes that would be collected by Isidore, the E-Waste Recycler for Earth Action Day. (Isidore Electronic Recycling is a very special electronics recycling enterprise. Learn more at www.isidorerecyling.com).

Yet, the heart of the event was the Children’s Organic Garden created by Carolyn Day with kids and parent volunteers.

PHOTO BY ANNEMARIE DONKIN MESSENGER © 2014

Topanga’s First Earth Action Day Inspires Gardening and Conservation

While Carolyn Day watches, Dexter Dienhelt, 3, shovels wet wood chips into the compost heap located behind the Community House during Topanga's first Earth Action Day.

Day said that Maurice Bourget provided 200 feet of PVC pipe and Johnny Sterner lent his plumbing expertise to provide a water faucet in the critter-proofed wire enclosure on the hill below the Community House. Day said the garden will be maintained every Monday morning from 10:30 to noon during the Kid’s Club.

“I knew this garden would only work if the water was on a timer,” Day said. “This will allow children to connect with nature and teach real Topanga values.”

Children and their families are encouraged to participate in the ongoing project. For more information go to www.childrensorganicgarden.com.

BECOME A TCC MEMBER

For more information or to become a TCC member: topangacommunityclub.com.

See related article, “Why Everyone Should Be a Member of the Topanga Community Club,” on page 8.