Lights out in Summit County for Earth Hour |

Lights out in Summit County for Earth Hour

Julie Sutor
Summit County Correspondent
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

SILVERTHORNE, Colorado – Pockets of Summit County will go dark for an hour on Saturday in the name of energy conservation.

Summit County government and the towns of Silverthorne, Frisco, Breckenridge and Dillon have all passed proclamations urging participation in Earth Hour – a global event that aims to raise awareness about energy consumption and climate change.

Participants of Earth Hour pledge to shut off all nonessential lights between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m., local time, Saturday night. 2010 marks the third year of the event, which attracted more than 80 million participants in the U.S. and nearly a billion people globally last year, according to the World Wildlife Fund, the event’s organizer. Global landmarks including the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Opera House and the Empire State Building all went dark for last year’s Earth Hour.

The Town of Silverthorne will participate for the second year in a row, again closing the Silverthorne Recreation Center a half-hour early.

“People were very agreeable and supportive last year, so we’re happy to do it again,” Silverthorne recreation director Joanne Breigenzer said.

Summit High School will keep its lights dimmed or off all day today; Summit Middle School and Upper Blue Elementary will do the same for a few hours each.

Seventeen-year-old Silverthorne resident Patrick Paden spurred Summit County’s participation in Earth Hour. Paden convinced Town of Silverthorne to take part last year as part of a school project.

“I thought it was a really good way to spread knowledge of the environment,” Paden said.

Building off last year’s success, Paden approached Summit’s other town governments, the Summit Board of County Commissioners and Summit School District officials, all of whom signed on. He also convinced Frisco’s Backcountry Brewery to flip its switches and light candles during Earth Hour.

Paden said the event has generated plenty of conversation about energy conservation among his peers at Summit High School.

“I’m really glad. I hope it will get bigger, grander and darker every year,” Paden said.

Paden’s efforts to put Summit County in the dark will place the community in the company of Invesco Field at Mile High, NFL quarterback Tom Brady, actor Ed Norton, Mount Rushmore, St. Louis’ Gateway Arch, Sea World, the Las Vegas “Strip” and the Golden Gate Bridge in the global call to action on climate change.

“Earth Hour sends a message that it’s time for America to switch to a cleaner, safer and more secure future,” said WWF president Carter Roberts. “We expect tens of millions of Americans all across the nation will take part because they care about our country, our planet and our future.”

Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-4630 or

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