Ways to celebrate Earth Day in the Gorge

Gorge Owned (GO!) and dozens of partners and sponsors invite residents from around the Gorge to participate in 2013 Gorge Earth Day. GO! is coordinating a community-wide celebration that includes Hands-to-Work volunteer projects, kids activities at Hood River Waterfront Park, the annual Community Pride Cleanup in Bingen and a party at Springhouse Cellar.

“Gorge Earth Day is a longstanding tradition here in the Gorge,” says Lindsay Miller, GO!’s executive director. “It’s a community-building event that brings people together to collaborate and celebrate the great work being done by local groups to make this a healthier community.”

Gorge Owned, which recently merged with the Columbia Gorge Earth Center, is hosting an Earth Day and Launch Party on Saturday, April 20, at Springhouse Cellar Winery from 6-10 p.m.

At the party, Gorge Owned will announce the third-annual Tod LeFevre Sustainability Champion Awards, which celebrates people who are working on innovative, creative solutions to the environmental, economic and social issues facing the Gorge.

The Launch Party will also include short presentations from local innovators, including Seth Tibbott, CEO of Turtle Island Foods, and Michael Becker from Hood River Middle School. We Media Project will be live-streaming the festivities and Solstice Wood Fired Cafe and Mobile Oven will be selling pizza.

Details about the week’s scheduled events are listed below, as well as at GorgeOwned.org/Gorge-Earth-Day. Presenting sponsors include CenterPointe Community Bank, Grow Organic, Solstice Wood Fired Cafe and Mobile Pizza Oven, Springhouse Cellar Winery and We Media Project.


April 20 — Gorge Owned Earth Day Celebration and Launch Party, featuring TED talk-style presentations by local innovators and bluegrass by The Student Loan, 6-10 p.m. at Springhouse Cellar Winery, 13 Railroad Ave., Hood River. Cost: $10 suggested donation

April 20 — Kids activities at Waterfront Community Park, 9 a.m. to noon: While adults are weeding and beautifying the park, kids can participate in numerous fun activities presented by Columbia Riverkeeper, Cascade Mountain School, Mt. Adams Institute, Columbia Gorge Ecology Center, Let’s Get Out, Cascadia Adventure Education School, Hood River Community Education and Climb Like a Monkey Summer Camps. Cost: Free

April 20-24 — Hands to Work Projects (times and locations vary). Put on your gloves and boots and give back to the community by volunteering for one of many service projects. For a list of projects visit http://bit.ly/10ZNNuZ.

April 22 — School Garden Symposium, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Hood River Middle School. Gorge Grown Food Network coordinates this one-day symposium where students and staff from the area come together to learn how to run successful educational farm-to-table programs. For more info visit info@GorgeGrown.org.

April 26-28 — 18th Annual Community Pride Cleanup, in Bingen, Wash., from noon to 4 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For $5, Washington residents can responsibly dispose of household items, appliances, building materials, yard debris and more. For more info visit http://bit.ly/ZPp9JV.

About Gorge Owned

Gorge Owned (GO!) is a member-supported organization with a mission to strengthen connections between the people, natural environment and economy of the Columbia Gorge. GO! currently has more than 130 individual and business members, all of whom stand behind the mission and values of GO!

Its programs include Gorge Earth Day, Gorge Green Drinks, the Gorge Sense of Place Lecture Series, the Gorge Green Home Tour, GO! Local Month and GO! Green sustainable practices workshops. For more information visit GorgeOwned.org.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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