Walk, Earth Day events planned for Saturday | NevadaAppeal.com

Walk, Earth Day events planned for Saturday

Steve Ranson
Bert Johnson walks with his granddaughter and nephew, who is holding a sign.

Churchill County will celebrate Earth Day on Saturday, the designated and original day when the first event of this magnitude was held 47 years ago in many communities.

Since that time Earth Day has spread its influence to where almost every community in the United States has activities to honor the day with reflection and education. Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson first came up with the idea to celebrate Earth because he felt many people had a disregard toward the environment.

The Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe not only honors Earth with a special remembrance on Saturday at Oats Park but also brings awareness to child abuse.

Vendors from western Nevada will share their message on Earth Day from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. so people will continue to respect the land on which they live and protect.

Environmental Director Richard Black said it appears more people are interested in the environment because of the record-setting snow in the Sierra Nevada mountain range and of the swift-flowing rivers such as the Carson and Walker.

“There also seems to be more interest in the wetlands,” he said, adding the ponds are filling up.

Black said the FPST celebrates Earth Day and the days prior to the actual event with different activities. For example, he said the community cleanup was held Wednesday and other events such as the poster contest was conducted earlier in the week.

He said vendors will have displays to educate visitors about the area’s land and environment.

“We’ll have vendors and outreach from the various departments including state and other agencies. We’ll also have traditional dancers and singers,” he said.

Prior to Earth Day welcoming its guests for the day, walkers will stroll from Oats Park to Fox Peak to make the community more aware of child abuse, not only with the American Indian population but also with the rest of the county and adjacent counties.

Once walkers arrive at Fox Peak, Jennifer Pishion, FPST’s Youth and Family Services director, said each pinwheel that is planted by a walker in front of the Fox Peak wall is not for a separate child but rather for all children.

Many walkers and supporters of child abuse awareness who walked last year said the planted pinwheels symbolize the happy, healthy childhoods all children deserve and remind others of their ongoing responsibility to ensure every child has an equal opportunity for healthy growth and development.

Pishion said adults are very concerned about child abuse, not only with Paiute and Shoshone families but also with families residing in Churchill County.

“Everyone is welcome,” said Pishion. “We’ll expect about 100 walkers who want to bring awareness to child abuse.”

Registration for the Child Awareness Walk starts at 8:30 a.m. and the walk will begin at 9 a.m.

Because of the increased outreach every year, she said more people call her office asking questions about child abuse and how they can become foster parents. Additionally, she said Youth and Family has received more reports in recent years, but she said people are more concerned about the harm being afflicted on children and now call rather than ignoring it.

“They want to get it out in the open,” she said.