About 300 people took to the streets on Main Avenue in downtown Durango on Sunday to celebrate Earth Day.
Around 10:30 a.m., a Durango Police car escorted the marchers down the southbound lane of Main Avenue from the train depot to Rotary Park, where live music, food and other activities were awaiting them.
The theme this year, said organizer Susan Atkinson, was “Every Animal Deserves a Habitat” to highlight the loss of biodiversity happening across the planet.
Many children were costumed as butterflies, wore hand-made wolf masks or dressed up as other animals. Art work was also featured from students at Animas High School.
A plethora of signs promoted taking care of the planet, such as “One Planet, One Chance” and “Every Animal Deserves A Habitat.” Some families had taken part in “adopt-a-banner” and painted large banners with endangered species.
Kirby and Perri MacLourin had two of the more creative costumes of the group. The brother and sister duo were dressed as characters depicting coal energy and solar power.
“I researched coal and realized what a nasty character it is,” Kirby MacLourin, of Durango, said. “It basically poisons our air.”
Deb Paulson, also of Durango, brought her electric car to Rotary Park to help promote use of the vehicle, which she powers with solar panels.
“I’m really exited to promote anything that will keep our climate safer,” she said. “I can’t wait till other people discover (electric vehicles). They are so fun to drive, and clean.”
Corey Sue Hutchinson said she spent at least a day preparing her prop for Earth Day. She had made a fish made out of various plastic items to highlight the issue of plastics polluting the ocean, she said.
“I wanted to demonstrate the plastic in oceans and to keep it from getting there by using less and recycling,” she said.
Later in the day, a group of students and volunteers planted heritage apple trees donated by the Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project at the community garden at Fort Lewis College as part of the “Leaf a Legacy” program.
Rachel Landis, coordinator for the Environmental Center at Fort Lewis College, said the Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project, which has been mapping the genes of all the apple trees in the region, has been promoting these projects.
Landis said the hope for the community garden is to ultimately plant around 100 to 200 trees, herbs and other plants, to provide locally sourced food options to the campus’s various dining halls.