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Rogue Valley Earth Day

The 2010 Rogue Valley Earth Day Celebration promises more than 70 interactive exhibits and demonstrations offering practical ideas for responsible shopping, recycling, wildlife preservation and other earth-friendly ideas.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the event that's often recognized as the origin of the modern environmental movement. ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum, a nonprofit museum and science center, will host the event, which will include speakers, live entertainment and dozens of exhibits, as well as activities, field games and crafts for children.

Everything will be happening from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 24, outdoors at ScienceWorks, 1500 E. Main St., Ashland

This year's theme is "Living, Learning, Leading," and the goal is to encourage people to reduce waste, use renewable energy sources, find transportation alternatives to automobiles, and incorporate green products into everyday living.

Two youth drum troupes, Pulsation and Bang, will open Saturday's live entertainment, playing a variety of international rhythms. Le Cirque Centre of Ashland will perform circus acts and Dancing People Company will present modern dance repertory. The Ashland Children's Theater will perform "Jack and the Greenstalk," a rendition of the classic fairy tale that promotes recycling and saving energy; and students, (also known as Eco Dragons) from Helman Elementary School will sing slightly modified versions of popular Elvis hits, such as "Can't Help Recycling It All" and "Let's Go Organic." The Ashland-based acoustic ensemble, Hamfist, will close the afternoon's entertainment playing classic country, contemporary Americana, pop and even some jug band jazz.

Local food vendors will serve Earth-friendly fare, using biodegradable plates, cups and cutlery.

At 7 p.m. Friday, April 23, in the ScienceWorks' Theater, Dominick DellaSala, president and chief scientist of the National Center for Conservation Science and Policy and the president of the Society for Conservation Biology, will speak on "Climate Crisis: Thinking Globally, Acting Locally."

Closing Earth Week, Barry and Ev Sherr, microbial oceanography researchers for Oregon's College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, will discuss "Ice and Water: Planktonic Food Webs in the Arctic Ocean" at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 25, at the theater.

In keeping with the goal of the event, visitors are encouraged to bring reusable water bottles and to carpool, bike, walk or ride the free RVTD shuttle, that will provide transportation to ScienceWorks from several Medford and Ashland locations.

Admission to the Earth Day event is free. ScienceWorks will be open for its regular entry fee — $7.50 for adults, $5 for seniors and children ages 12 and younger

For more information, visit www.roguevalleyearthday.net or call 541-488-6606.

Youth participate in a hand-on activity at the 2009 Rogue Valley Earth Day Celebration. - Photo by Pam Lott