Loomis Earth Day brings appreciation

By: Kim Palaferri, Loomis News Correspondent
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Organizer Pat Miller had a vision for Loomis Earth Day that people would discover a new appreciation for the Earth and its animals.

A popular theme at the event last Saturday was rescued animals and educational services surrounding animals. There were horses, burros, a red tail hawk and even a puppy that made his way to a new home. 

Steve DeCamp, a volunteer with the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro program, brought a horse and burro, both rescue animals. The horse, Modoc, a 9-year-old, was rescued from the wild in Doubles Garden in Modoc County.  DeCamp said the hope is to prepare the horses and burros to be adopted.

Organizers estimate that up to 1,000 visitors attended the one-day-event held at the Loomis Train Depot.

“Little old Loomis has wonderful things going on and I try to get people to share with some of the caring nature rescue centers that give so much back,” Miller said. 

“We live in a world with animals that contribute to the community and they are all important – like the Placer County Sheriff’s K9 unit, burros and rescued pups at The Dog Spot,” she said. 

One of the features of the event was a demonstration by the Placer County Sheriff’s Office K9 unit. The audience was captivated when Deputy Kevin Thompson sent his police dog, Eros, a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois shepherd, after criminal decoy Deputy Chris Oliver.

ReCreate had a booth of crafts and trash scraps that were used to teach young artists how to make art with items normally tossed into the garbage like toilet papers rolls, bottle caps, tin cans and to-go plastic containers. The creative staff was on hand to help kids of all ages make masks to take home and provide inspiration to create art with common household trash.

Students from Del Oro High School’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) brought approximately seven pallets of plant starters that were sold to help raise funds for FAA events.   Many of the plants were ready for immediate transplant and included tomatoes, herbs, perennials and annuals. The plants were grown by students on campus, some even with their aquaponics system. 

The students were also at the festival to pass their knowledge of growing plants on to a younger generation, hoping to inspire them to grow their own at home.  Six-year-old Annika Dukes, of Roseville, planted her very own sunflower in a take-home ready pack with the help of FFA student Ashlyn Woods.

Five booths away, Sierra View Nursery of Loomis, offered organic plants, including the stevia plant.  Owner Lara Hawthorne taught people how to use the plants extracts as an alternative to artificial sweeteners.  

“One of the benefits of not putting sugar in your food and replacing it with the stevia plant, stevia stimulates your body to metabolize sugar better and helps insulin be more efficient,” Hawthorne said.

She suggested drying the plant and grinding it into a powder, then using it in instead of sugar. Although the nursery sells their plants wholesale locally, Hawthorne said you can purchase their plants at Bakers Nursery on Taylor Road. 

Youngster Kristen Havins was convinced that she should adopt a cute, 5-month-old puppy, but the decision was left up to her father. By the end of the day, the puppy didn’t return to The Dog Spot booth where he originally came from.

“Today was a day to appreciate the community and support our local Earth. It’s the only one we have,” Miller said.