DOWNTOWN — The ice caps may be melting, but Earth Day in Santa Monica is intended to be a fun, interactive day.

This year marks the 40th annual Earth Day, which will be celebrated in many ways throughout Santa Monica and is not limited to one actual day. Next week will be Earth Week, but there are even more events approaching all the way into next month.

“Sustainability is central to a lot of the city planning,” said Andrew Basmajian, the communications coordinator of the Santa Monica Office of Sustainability and the Environment.

This weekend alone consists of a few events. On Saturday, April 17, there will be a celebration at the popular Third Street Promenade from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m, and the 25th annual “Nothin’ But Sand” beach cleanup hosted by Heal the Bay at the 1550 lifeguard tower from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. Attendees of this cleanup are also given free access to the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, which will be hosting special activities for Earth Day on both Saturday and Sunday.

“It’s really a day of education and empowerment,” Community Director of Heal the Bay Matthew King said.

The 11th annual Topanga Earth Day festival is also taking place on April 17 and 18, where the Topanga Creek clean up will take place. It is the only L.A. area Earth Day festival that features local, national, and international bands.

There will additionally be an ecological fine art gallery, sustainable living solutions, social action, healing arts, workshops, a children’s area, and presentations such as a speech by organic and sustainable farmers market leader Jennifer McColm.

For the events at the promenade, there is a little bit of each type of activity spread out on every block, adding up to 60 eco-exhibits all together just in case you can’t walk through the whole promenade. The activities are also aimed at every age group, as the goal is to have as many people as possible attending.

“We have a wide variety,” said Kacy Palmieri, director of the event. She hopes that people, “become aware of something they weren’t aware of before,” and looks at the event as a way of, “bringing the community together in a place they might already be going.”

For adults, there will be information on how to make homes more energy efficient, including an estimate of how much it would cost to start retro-fitting your home. There is also going to be pledge wall where individuals can pledge how they plan to contribute to making the earth greener and more balanced.

For the younger crowd, there will be a kids section by Wilshire which will even include a llama that they can pet. The llama’s owner, Stuart Wilde, is known for his llama trekking eco-adventures which provide a way for people to get in touch with nature. He will be doing a trek in L.A. proving that walking is still a viable way of transportation.

There will also be entertainment for every age including a performance by Mamapalooza, a professional group of award-winning artists, who Palmieri said, “will be gracing our stage all day long on a solar powered stage.”

Jim Stewart has been organizing the Earth Day L.A. events since 1993, which Santa Monica is a part of. He said that he co-founded the event essentially because he feels that global warming is a crisis that must be addressed, and practical solutions are available now, and on display at the promenade celebration.

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