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Earth Day focuses on alternative transportation, power

By Craig Hampshire Special to the Daily Planet
Friday April 19, 2002

Berkeley Earth Day 2002 – the 32nd anniversary of the national environmental awareness day – is Saturday. 

This year a free event in Civic Center Park will commemorate and celebrate Earth Day with an Eco-Motion Parade beginning at 11 a.m. Children and adults will walk, bike, use electric go carts, cars and other non-polluting transportation, according to Karen Hester, the coordinator for Berkeley Earth Day. 

“We celebrate different types of alternative transportation,” Hester said. “We have a three-person solar powered skateboard.” 

This parade, although small, is very spirited, Hester said, with a normal attendance of several hundred people. 

Hester, an outspoken environmentalist, has been organizing the event for eight years. Since its inception, the city of Berkeley has invested money for environmental education as well as a way for families to celebrate by spending quality time together. 

“It is a way for people to get information about how to walk more lightly on the planet,” Hester said. 

Berkeley Earth Day 2002 will also feature a number of booths, including the Ecology Center, the Sierra Club, the Berkeley Farmer’s Market and the California Donor Transplant Network, which will give people the opportunity to recycle themselves, she said. 

Other participants with booths include such topics as residential solar power, bee keeping, candle making and Save the Bay. 

Kirk Lumpkin, the special events coordinator for the Berkeley Farmer’s Market, said the group is expecting a large turnout at the Market setup. 

“Our organization will have a bunch of environmental topics,” Lumpkin said. “We’ll have some petitions there. It is an opportunity to ask questions.” 

Children will get to plant seeds as part of the Bay Area Seed Interchange Library. The Farmer’s Market will also have information about the Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters and the Berkeley Community Gardening Collaborative. 

Further information will be available for teachers about Terrain for Schools, a program that can be instituted into the teacher’s curriculum, Lumpkin said. Farmers will talk about issues in agriculture. 

Other activities for Earth Day 2002 include Venezuelan, Hawaiian, funk, rock and West African dance music. Interested residents also may climb a wall, do children’s Eco-Art, eat vegetarian food and beer, and go on bicycle hayrides. 

Meanwhile, at the Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Tilden Regional Park, the annual California native plant sale involves plants not available in commercial nurseries, according to Ned MacKay with the East Bay Regional Park District. Sale plants include bulbs, manzanitas, sages, firs, Ceanothus, native grasses and Douglas Iris, among others. 

“All sales benefit the Botanic Garden and its programs,” according to MacKay. 

The garden is located on Wildcat Canyon Road at the foot of South Park Drive near the Brazil Building in Tilden Regional Park. Admission is free. For more information, call (510) 841-8732. 

In 1970, Earth Day was established when 20 million Americans took to the streets to demonstrate for a healthy environment. Here in the Bay area, events run from Saturday through April 28. 

For more information about Berkeley Earth Day 2002, go to or visit Hester’s Web site at