Rehab efforts of Waterfall burn area highlight Earth Day celebration

Two years ago, the Waterfall fire ravaged the hills surrounding Carson City.

Now one of the groups working to help the environment recover is showcasing the area's efforts during Saturday's Earth Day celebration.

"For people coming to the celebration, we hope they get an understanding of the rehabilitation efforts done following the Waterfall fire," said Lesley Bensinger, Waterfall fire project assistant with the University of Nevada Cooperative extension.

The celebration, themed "Protect and Enjoy Carson City's Natural Resources," is scheduled for 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at the Capitol Mall. The Cooperative Extension is organizing the event.

It will include more than 30 local groups focusing on a variety of environmental issues, including booths by the High Desert Divers, Carson City Fire Department, Nevada Wilderness Project and the U.S. Forest Service.

"We will have information about how to enjoy public lands with motor vehicles in a way that has a minimal impact," said Ranger Franklin Pemberton.

The Forest Service considers incorrect use of motorized vehicles, including SUVs, to be one of the four biggest threats to the nation's forests.

"Basically don't create new roads or ruts and if you think you'll get stuck, don't go," Pemberton said.

Bensinger said the celebration hopes to raise awareness about the impacts people have on the environment. She also wants to provide a place where the public can get information about a significant number of organizations.

"We want to let people know all of the things the Cooperative Extension does and make people more aware of all of the local groups doing a lot of good," Bensinger said.

Presentations from several elected officials, Carson City and Storey County Extension Educator JoAnne Skelly and the Future Farmers of America will go on throughout the day.

To encourage environmental consciousness, a board will be set up for community members to post an Earth Day pledge, stating something that they will do to help protect the environment throughout the year.

Pledges might include using reusable containers rather than plastic baggies, carpooling to work, recycling all plastic containers or avoiding use of chemical pesticides whenever possible.

The Carson City event is in addition the state's largest Earth Day Celebration, held from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday at Idlewild Park in Reno.

"Going Beyond Green" is a zero-waste event with a solar-powered stage, diverse vegetarian cuisine, environmental information and hands-on activities. More than 100 booths providing education on earth-friendly products as well as practicing energy conservation, recycling, saving on power and transportation costs, wildlife and wilderness preservation and outdoor recreation opportunities.

Both events are open to the public and admission is free.

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at or 881-1217.

If you go

What: Earth Day celebrations in Northern Nevada.

When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday in Carson City and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday in Reno.

Where: In Carson City at the Capitol Mall, on Carson Street between Musser and Fifth streets. In Reno at Idlewild Park.

Call: University of Nevada Cooperative Extension at 887-2252 or contact Nevada EcoNet at 323-3433.


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