Fiesta La Ballona Evolves into Environmentally-Conscious Fair

The evolution of Fiesta La Ballona into an event that brings the community together in an environmentally responsible way advances this year with its greatest number of cycling activities, sustainability programs and community participants.
Culver City Neighborhood Girl Scout Allie Zakin and the Culver City High School  Student Environmental Club, which she formed, will assist the Fiesta La Ballona Green Team with eco-classes and arts and crafts during the weekend event at the Sustainability booth in Fiesta La Ballona’s Cycle City.
“Be sure to drop by the booth to participate in all of the fun. Allie and her Earth Club are making a difference in greening the Fiesta, and that’s a great way for the Girl Scout organization to celebrate its 100th anniversary,” said Culver City Public Works Environmental Coordinator Catherine Vargas.
“We continue to increase our waste diversion rate every year. We want to improve on recent years’ 70% of the Fiesta trash that was kept out of landfills by recycling or composting,” said Sustainability Committee member Lisa Tholen.
In support of SB 568, the proposed statewide ban on Styrofoam® and expanded polystyrene (EPS) take-out food containers, Fiesta food vendors are discontinuing the use of Styrofoam® food containers.
“We aim to keep Fiesta La Ballona Green by motivating our vendors to use compostable and recyclable paper and plastic goods,” said Sustainability Programs chairperson Lisa Lewis-Burns who has ordered newer and more convenient waste bins with separate receptacles for compostable waste, recyclable materials and landfill-bound trash.
Master gardener Norma Bonilla offers tips on backyard gardens and composting, according to Burns who is coordinating sessions in environmentally sound programs. Randy Ritchie elaborates on composting with worms. Robert Redecker brings cob adobe for youngsters to mold into likenesses of his Earth Works Natural Building project. Michele Weiner discusses alternative transportation in Transition Culver City. Christian Santiago of the Energy Service Corps offers tips on alternative energy.
The city’s largest-ever bike valet, sponsored by Palms Cycle, will accommodate hundreds of bicycles, strollers and skateboards on Fiesta weekend.
Fiesta offers a free attended bike valet service to encourage guests to ride their bikes rather than spend valuable fun-time searching for a parking spot.  Palms Cycle and the Culver City Bicycle Coalition will staff the bike valet from late morning to early evening on Saturday and Sunday.
The bike valet will be located at Southeast end of the pool at Barman and Overland.  Bring your bike to the bike valet and a volunteer will park it and give you a claim ticket.  That same ticket must be returned to a volunteer on duty for your bike’s collection.  The bike valet will also accept strollers and skateboards.
The Entertainment Committee remains “in the act,” and will have a generator running on biodiesel to power the stage lighting for the evening Main Stage shows.  “We encourage Fiesta guests to be part of the sustainable ride by using their bikes or bus to Veterans Park.  We all need to take an active role in our lifestyle choices and think about what we are throwing out, where we are throwing it and how we get around town,” said Burns.
Fiesta La Ballona (www.FiestaLaBallona.org) is held August 24-26 at Veterans Park, 4117 Overland Ave. Culver City.

List of Attractions:
Recycle in the Park
Sustainability programs
Saturday 12:00-6:00pm
12:00pm Eco arts, crafts and recycle classes (to 6:00pm)
12:00pm SCE Mobile Energy Unit (to 6:00pm)

Sunday 12:00-6:00pm
12:00pm Eco arts, crafts and recycle classes (to 6:00pm)
12:00pm SCE Mobile Energy Unit (to 6:00pm)

www.culvercitysymphony.org

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