Dandelion/Arbor Day is Saturday in Carbondale | PostIndependent.com

Dandelion/Arbor Day is Saturday in Carbondale

John ColsonPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE, Colorado – Summer gets its official start here this weekend with Dandelion Day events today and Saturday.Now in its 14th year, Dandelion Day got its start as a grassroots movement in 1998 to discourage the use of pesticides at Sopris Park. Following a citizen lobbying campaign, the town officially declared the dandelion to be the town flower in 1999.Over the years the celebration has evolved into an expression of the community’s environmental consciousness and interest in sustainability as a way of life.This year, the 2012 Dandelion Day celebration coincides with Arbor Day, as declared in a proclamation issued by the town Board of Trustees on May 8.The Dandelion Day celebration informally begins at 12:30 p.m. today with a free tour of the Clean Energy Collective’s solar garden at Blue Lake near El Jebel.Dandelion Day proper begins at 8 a.m. on Saturday with a Crystal River cleanup effort, sponsored by Elk Mountain Expeditions. Volunteers are asked to meet at the Learning Tent in Sopris Park.Events continue until 5 p.m., including a tree-planting along the Rio Grande Trail and a nonmotorized “Parade of the Species” starting at 10 a.m. in Sopris Park.Also at 10 a.m. is the start of a compost competition. Entrants are asked to bring their compost to the Colorado Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute booth in the park, where judges will evaluate the entries.The opening ceremony for the day’s activities, scheduled at 10:30 a.m., will feature Mayor Stacey Bernot awarding the coveted Order of the Dandelion to two worthy volunteers.Activities throughout the day will include workshops on beekeeping, raising chickens in the backyard, bicycle maintenance, making clay and lime plaster compounds, using children’s literature to teach sustainability, and tree pruning.The traditional beer booth will be featuring select home brews, with discounts for each drinker who brings his or her own cup.During the middle of the day children will be given free rein to decorate reusable shopping bags as a gift for Mother’s Day.Music is scheduled for much of the day, ranging from topical tunes by The Dandy Ladies to the spare, acoustic sounds of Slidewhistle, and the rock stars in training who will compete in the JAS Battle of the Bands.jcolson@postindependent.com

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