Santa Ynez Valley Botanical Garden’s 14th Annual Earth Day

By Alice Mullin

Most people celebrate Earth Day in April, but the Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden continued the festivities to May, and put on a Earth Day celebration last Saturday. For the past 14 years, the SYV Botanic Garden—which is located next to River View Park in Buellton—has brought the community together to celebrate Earth Day with activities, food, and entertainment for the whole family to enjoy.

The event brought a multitude of people of all ages.

“I like the diversity of everything that’s here and it’s really a neat event so I’d like to definitely come back again every year,” said Beverly Wolf.

This year’s Earth Day included approximately 100 Earth-friendly booths that shared ideas, demonstrations, family activities, and more. Some of these activities included horse back rides and a petting zoo for the kids and a wine and beer garden complete with live entertainment for the adults.

Many of the booths were geared toward informing the community about the benefits of various sustainable actions that individuals can take to protect the Earth. The Girl Scouts of Lompoc troop 51357 headed up one such booth. These scouts brought awareness to the benefits of succulents as an alternative to plants that use more water. The scouts running the booth said they gained interest in the drought-friendly plants after they found a house succulent that had been forgotten but still thrived. Their display included facts and photos about the benefits of these succulents, as well as succulent clippings for passers-by to take.

In addition to businesses and groups, there were also individual community members there to share how they incorporate sustainability into their everyday lives. Frank Redfern created a business out of worm farming called Redfern’s Garden Service. Redfern explained that worms produce a substance called “worm tea,” which can be used in fertilizer. This worm tea is sustainable and organic, reduces one’s carbon footprint, and nourishes both the plants and the soil.

Finally, it would not be an Earth Day without a booth dedicated to one of the Earth’s most important insects, the bee. With the bee population in a decline, it is important to help bees in any way possible. For Abby Crawford this means raising three hives of bees in her own backyard. Crawford was asked to join Earth Day this year to represent the bees.

“I just wanted kids to know that everyone can do something to help the bees,” Crawford said before giving two examples of ways everyone can help bees: planting flowers and setting out bowls of water with rocks in them so that bees can drink without fear of drowning.

If you missed this event, don’t worry; you can still walk through the Santa Ynez Botanic Garden any time of year. You can follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SantaYnezValleyBotanicGarden/