On Saturday, cars lined up around M-A’s campus to attend the annual Love Our Earth Festival, which M-A hosted this year. Community members of all ages came by the white tents to learn what they can do to protect our planet. “We’re all about how to make the earth better so that when your grandkids are around they still have an earth to live in,” said Ron Snow, a coordinator of the disaster preparedness table.
Snow explained, “There are tables ranging from energy-related things, such as induction cooking and heat pumps for water, to children-oriented activities, disaster preparedness, and climate change.
Briana McDowell, a co-operator of the children’s Books Inc. table, said, “I was actually really passionate to come today because I got to choose each and every book on the table. Besides being a bookseller, I’m just really passionate about education and diverse voices being heard.” She said, “We’re really excited to come today and just represent what a bookstore looks like, especially in California. A lot of the books I chose today are either people of color’s voices, indigenous voices, or femme voices that I thought were really getting good words out about climate change.”
This book table was just one of the festival’s many kid-oriented activities. “Kids are where you get people involved,” said Snow. “A lot of what you learn as a child stays with you to adulthood, so we try to get them to pay attention to nature.”
One such table was a craft table where anyone could re-use various kinds of trash and branches to make artwork. Shu Rosenthal, a teacher at Peninsula School who helped at the table, said, “These days, I feel like kids don’t have enough opportunity to do hands-on projects and use their brain for creativity, so our table is about being able to do so.”
The crowd favorite, however, was an animal show where handlers introduced kids to live snakes, tortoises, and other reptiles. One mom, Allison Nguyen, said, “We just got here, but my kids are pretty excited to see the animals—they’re a big hit.”
Another attendee, Tomika Price, said, “There’s a lot of things here to see that I wouldn’t normally see in one place. My kids really enjoyed the electric cars presentation where they had several different makes and models in one place and were able to get in them and push buttons.”
With so much of the event geared towards kids, it’s worth hearing what these young attendees had to say. Preston, an elementary schooler, said he liked the festival “better than anything.” He said, “I have a super power where I can sense stuff to remember how good it was, and I’ll remember how good this was.”