The annual Earth Day Celebration held April 20, 2013, was a huge success!
Participants enjoyed activities and lively entertainment with an emphasis on preserving the environment. In an effort to encourage conservation, the Natural History Museum, Santa Maria, has presented Earth Day conservation awards since 2000 and this year was no exception. The nominations for the awards are made by museum board members and the public, and are open to all. The criteria is that the recipient has taken exemplary action to conserve resources. This year’s awards, in three categories, were presented by Santa Maria Mayor Alice Patino.
Agriculture: Alma Rosa Winery and Vineyards, and vintners Richard and Thekla Sanford, practice and promote not only organic farming, but ecologically responsible packaging, business practices and green building.
The winery also supports related earth-friendly causes such as the reintroduction of peregrine falcons to the Santa Ynez Valley, hosts bluebird boxes and supports the international slow food movement, among others. The Sanfords farm more than 100 acres of certified organic vineyards in the Santa Rita Hills, and the winery produces wine in a way that allows nature and agriculture to work together in sustainable harmony.
Business: The Green Business Program of Santa Barbara County is a countywide partnership between local governments, agencies, districts, nonprofits, utilities, waste haulers and Chambers of Commerce. It recognizes businesses that go above and beyond
required measures to serve as models in sustainability. The program, directed by Frances Gilliland, is free, voluntary and offers assistance and incentives, including an official Green Business certification and promotion upon completion of various mandatory and a minimum number of voluntary actions. In the past five years the program has coached and certified more than 65 businesses, including Hardy Diagnostics, Cal Portland Construction corporate office, Solaire Inn & Suites and Luis Oasis Senior Center.
Non Profit: The Green Team, founded in 2011, brings in speakers and promotes conservation activities in the Santa Maria area. Its most recent project is creating urban edible gardens. The Green Team is championed by Jeanne Sparks, a photographer and reporter who has drawn attention to conservation causes and projects through the media. Sparks is involved in organizations including the Dune Center, Friends of Waller Park, SB CAN, as well as the Natural History Museum.
We thank all those who worked hard to make our Earth Day Celebration a success— especially our wonderful sponsors—and everyone who continues to support earth friendly practices in their daily life.