Missoula celebrates Earth Day - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Missoula celebrates Earth Day

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Missoula celebrates Earth Day Missoula celebrates Earth Day

Missoula organizations are celebrating a victory following U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's signing of the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan.

The signing was a symbolic finalizing of the U.S.'s part in the Paris Talks. It gave environmentally proactive Missoulians extra energy-efficient fuel to their green fire to help vamp up Earth Day celebrations.

"I think Earth Day is an important holiday because, you know, day in and day out we take resources from the environment, we use the beautiful natural landscape we have here around Missoula, and we rarely give back. And not that Earth Day necessarily means that we're giving back, but it's just a recognition of everything that we take from the environment, and it's also a recognition of the need for us to be conscious of what we're taking and try to look for ways to take less," ASUM Sustainability Coordinator Meredith Repke said.

Officials at UM Dining Services, who unveiled their 17,000 square foot garden Friday, say that producing local food is one way to work with the environment.

“Knowing where your food comes from, who grows it, getting involved with, you know, how does food grow, how is it produced, where is it coming from I think is really important for everyone to sort of know for your own personal health, on Earth Day here to be thinking about the environment and the impact that our food systems have on that," UM Dining Sustainability Director Trevor Lowell said.

The new UM Dining Garden is three times the size of the current garden, which produces around two thousand pounds of produce a year. All of the produce from the gardens is served on campus to students and student guests.

Meanwhile, climate change activists rallied at Caras Park Friday at the Oneworld-Act on Climate rally sponsored by several Missoula organizations, including MontPIRG, the Sierra Club and the National Wildlife Association and more.

Missoula City Council member Heidi West said they are celebrating the signing of the Clean Power Plan, and that Missoula is part of an ongoing national and global effort to go green.

"Earth Day is more of a way to celebrate the things that have happened and the things that we are doing, but just raising awareness of the problems. Because I think, you know, Missoula is a great example, you know, we have a climate action plan, we have zero fare buses, we have great parks and trails, and we really invest in providing access to sustainable choices. We love, I mean, we love our outdoors and we love access to a clean environment," West said.

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