Idyllwild Arts Academy’s Environmental Club produced its first Community Earth Fair last year on campus. Community members participated and attended the event filled with performances and booths, such as this one that taught attendees how to make bird feeders with simple ingredients. Artist Daniel Donovan (left) shows Scarlett Leon and Sofia Landis how to roll a pine cone in peanut butter, then in bird seed. Photo by Becky Clark

By Don Stoll - Manager of Communications & International Student Relations Idyllwild Arts

Earth Day 2019’s Protect our Species campaign will be celebrated late at Idyllwild Arts Academy: on April 28, six days after the global event. The packed calendar for the academy’s 300-plus students from three dozen countries requires creative scheduling.

But the IAA Idyllwild Environmental Club’s free public fair on that Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. will reach out to the entire Idyllwild community — and especially to families with children — with exactly the kind of warm, welcoming embrace that has always distinguished Earth Day.

Community outreach is appropriate for a movement based on the need for interconnectedness, expressed by the late Rachel Carson’s 1962 assertion that “In nature, nothing exists alone.”

Earth Day Network’s web page for Earth Day 2019 names insects as well as bees, coral reefs, elephants, giraffes, whales “and more” — the list goes on — as life forms put in danger of extinction by human-caused climate change and by deforestation, habitat loss, trafficking and poaching, unsustainable agriculture, pollution and pesticides.

The ongoing bad news about endangered and threatened species has caused some people to despair. Earth Day Network warns that “extinction may be humanity’s most enduring legacy.”

Hence, the Earth Day Network’s mission of “Building the world’s largest environmental movement.”

The academy’s April 28 homage to that mission will include activities and games for local children, all organized by Idyllwild Arts students. Yoga and soundbaths will be offered, along with chances to work on service projects.

Community activities like this continue to give hope that dire warnings about extinction and other shameful human legacies will be proved wrong.