By Rich Csenge
Folks who are curious about the natural world are looking forward to attending southern Utah’s 16th annual Amazing Earthfest 2022. It’s all online this year from the nonprofit’s home base in Kanab, Utah, and here’s a preview of some of the free activities that are coming up. There’s no charge to attend but registration is required to receive the Zoom links needed to participate.
Opening events take place Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 8, beginning with Invocation to Sustainability at 1 PM, MDT, combining music, ideas and poetry to capture the spirit of the week’s events. Keynote speaker will be Blake Spalding, co-owner of Hell’s Backbone Grill and Farm in Boulder, Utah. Later, at 3 PM, you can join Cassidy Jones and Mark Mesle from the National Parks Conservation Association to learn how climate change is affecting our nation’s National Park system. Still later on Sunday, at 6 PM, MDT, take a journey to some of the Southwest’s treasured Native American Rock Art sites near Kayenta, AZ, with host Richard Jenkinson, former president of the Utah Rock Art Research Association.
Each day thereafter, events will occur at 6 PM, MDT online, beginning on Monday with a community conversation on how best to communicate your concerns about climate change with friends, family and neighbors. Then Tuesday, learn all about Owls from Kathy Donnell, naturalist at Wasatch Mountain State Park. Go way back in time on Wednesday with Joe Sertich from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to learn about the remarkable diversity in dinosaur discoveries being made inside Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.
On Thursday evening at 6 PM, tour Utah’s Dark Sky Parks and make plans to visit them with Paul Ricketts, program director at the University of Utah’s South Physics Observatory. Friday, the penultimate day of the festival, take a deeper dive into three different cultural perspectives on the natural world with host Sharon St. Joan. Finally, on Saturday evening, renowned astro-nut Dave Lane has designed a presentation featuring some of his favorite sites in the region for capturing night sky photos that is sure to delight both beginning and advanced astro-photographers. Throughout the Earthfest, a free video is available on growing native plants and saving seeds from the Southern Paiute perspective, created by national park ranger Autumn Gillard from Pipe Spring National Monument.
Watch this space for an article about the Amazing Earthfest 2022 Documentary Film series and community conversations that will offer opportunities to discuss the concepts and share personal responses to the ideas addressed in the films. It’s all being offered free of charge but donations to the 501c3 nonprofit organization Amazing Earthfest are always graciously appreciated!