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‘Let the Youth be Heard’ theme of Sonoma’s Earth Day festival

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Shifting demographics and the aging of the boomer generation has finally produced the inevitable environmental hand-off: “Let the Youth Be Heard!” is the theme of this year’s Earth Day Festival at Burlingame Hall, taking place Sunday, April 28.

Featured at the event will be Our Children’s Trust, a group of 21 youth who are calling for the U.S. government create a climate recovery plan to ensure that future generations will live in a healthy and sustainable environment.

Our Children’s Trust filed a lawsuit in federal court, Juliana v. U.S., in 2015. It asserts that through the government’s actions that cause climate change, it has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty and property, as well as having failed to protect essential public-trust resources

Fittingly, this year’s festival includes over 25 exhibitors with information and interactive displays for all ages. Among them bird-feeder and “bumblebee hotel” construction projects, led by representatives of the Monarch Butterfly Garden and the Bird Rescue Center.

The event begins at 10:30 a.m. at the First Congregational Church, 252 W. Spain St., when Rev. Curran Reichert will deliver an Earth Day-themed service, followed at 11:30 a.m. by a performance by the Sonoma County Taiko Drummers.

Mayor Amy Harrington will sign a city proclamation to protect and provide habitat for monarch butterflies, as a part of the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge.

Other exhibitors include Sustainvest Asset Management, Sierra Club Sonoma, 350.org, Sonoma Worm Farm, Nadya Clarke-Bees, Sonoma Ecology Center, World Progress Now, Praxis Peace Institute, End World Hunger Foundation, Seeds of Learning, Sonoma Valley Climate Coalition, Transition Sonoma Valley, Ocean Guardians, Sunrise Movement, Sonoma Valley Democrats, KSVY radio, Interfaith Garden, Valley of the Moon Garden Club, Recology, Sonoma Valley Youth Advisory Board for Climate Protection, Beautycounter and others.

Admission is free. A “nutritious and delicious farm-to-table light lunch” will be available for a suggested donation of $5. The event is scheduled to last until 2 p.m.

Earth Day, first celebrated in 1970, is now recognized worldwide annually on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It is coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and celebrated in more than 192 countries.

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