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Earth Day 2020 xc Rachel Bauer is ready to clean up the mess she found near Portola in the Plumas National Forest. Photo submitted

Plumas residents clean up to celebrate Earth Day 2020

By Mari Erin Roth

Special to Feather Publishing

Quincy resident Sky Plocki helps pick up trash on Cemetery Hill with his red wheelbarrow and gloves. Photo submitted

Earth Day 2020 in Plumas County was not suspended due to the coronavirus. Residents molded their activities to adhere to safety guidelines and carry on. The Plumas Earth Day committee did its best to transfer the event had been planned to a virtual platform so every one could still enjoy the celebration.

“Our theme was ‘food’ and that is something we all share, we all eat, hopefully three times a day,” said Dr. Darla DeRuiter serving for her 13th year on the Earth Day organizing committee. One of the activities was a showing of “The Biggest little Farm.” The event usually packs the Town Hall Theatre, but this year the film was shown virtually via Zoom. It was preceded by a shared talk from Jessie Mazar and Leslie Pace. The women are co-directors of the Plumas-based organization Lost Sierra Food Project. The group mission statement is to increase access to local foods for Plumas County residents, prioritizing low-income populations, provide workforce development programs, and create educational food and farming opportunities. Their website for more information is lostsierrafoodproject.org.

The website describes the group this way: “We envision a world where everyone has access to healthy, affordable food and feels empowered to grow their own food.”

Wayne Cartwright, Bob Boshee and Susan Allen work together to clean up along Spanish Creek April 22 from Gansner Creek toward the water district treatment site. Photo by Carla Hamilton

The Community Sustainability Awards were virtually presented. Generally four categories are awarded: Individual, Group, Business and Student. “This year we decided to award two businesses in lieu of the ‘group’ category,” said DeRuiter. The individual recognized is Traci Turner and the student is Liz Ramsey. The two businesses honored are Feather River Outdoors/Barn Owl Books and Quincy Natural Foods/Feather Co Op (Portola).

The annual Ansel Adams Digital Photo contest winners were not yet tabulated but photographers submitted stunning images viewable on the Plumas Earth Days Facebook page where people can vote by liking their favorite submissions.

“Even though we couldn’t be together in person, it was great to celebrate the 50th anniversary birthday ‘together.’ Fifty people showed up virtually,” said DeRuiter. “Generally we pack the Town Hall Theatre with about 250 people but we were glad for the showing we had.”

During the day, Plumas residents celebrated by getting outside and doing some clean up; to say a little clean up would be an understatement judging by the “haul” group shots showed.

“We had eight people show up. Got about half a pickup truck of trash,” said Jason Rapacilo about cleanup efforts April 22. “For Earth Day I also called the former coal lobbyist and now current EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and left a polite voicemail about what I thought of his decision to suspend all EPA enforcement. Maybe we could all call him or email? Wheeler’s contact information is 202-564-4700 and [email protected].”

“We got a truck load near Portola,” said Longboard champion skier Rachel Bauer.

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