There are tons of different ways to get involved in this year’s Teton Valley Earth Day celebration.
Teton Valley Earth Day, a relatively young multi-day collaborative event hosted by a group of local nonprofits, was forced to go virtual last spring, but the event organizers have decided this year that it’s safe (and fun) to host small in-person workshops and projects across the valley to celebrate community and service.
Some of the service projects happening this week include an in-town clean-up hosted by Downtown Driggs Association, a “help recyclers” morning with Teton Valley Community Recycling at the county transfer station, community garden preparation with the Teton County Fair Board and 4-H, a highway trash pick-up with Rotary Club, electronics recycling opportunities at the library, and a Tetonia Elementary School garden rejuvenation with Full Circle Education.
There are also education opportunities like a pruning demonstration with the City of Driggs, a composting workshop with TVCR, and an afternoon of bird crafts and displays at the Teton Regional Land Trust office.
Find a complete schedule and sign up for individual events and volunteer opportunities at tetonvalleyearthday.com.
The three-day event will be capped off with a virtual presentation of the project accomplishments and raffle drawing at 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 24—visit Teton Valley Earth Day’s Facebook page to view the livestream. All volunteers will be entered into a raffle and people who post pictures of their service projects on social media with the hashtag #tetonvalleyearthday get a bonus raffle ticket. Raffle prizes, supplied by the participating nonprofits, include no-till gardening classes, a sustainable shopper kit, free concessions at this summer’s Shakespeare in the Parks, honey, an insect ID kit, and a free fairground arena rental.
If your taste for service extends past the weekend, commit to beautifying some small portion of a valley road, pathway, or (new this year) riverbank, and earn a free month of RAD Curbside trash collection. The program, first instituted in 2019, has yielded a healthy heap of roadside trash: in 2020 around 300 participants cleaned up over 3,000 pounds of trash off almost 300 miles of road. To sign up, visit RAD’s Facebook page, then pick up your special collection bag at RAD’s headquarters and start filling it with debris. Your trash bag will be picked up and recorded during normal curbside service until May 31. RAD does request that people not abuse the program by using it as a personal yard clean-up opportunity or disposing of household waste.
Track Your Litter
In conjunction with the RAD Community Clean-Up, a local micro-plastic researcher has agreed to help valley residents collect and analyze litter data. Data collection efforts have been incorporated into litter clean-up efforts in Jackson for the past several years, and this useful citizen science data has helped city and county governments identify key litter “hot spots" which can then be managed by adding cigarette recycling receptacles, additional garbage cans/recycling bins, or other measures.
Data sheets are available online at tetonrecycling.org or can be picked up at the RAD office when you get your free trash bags for your clean up efforts. These data sheets are simple to fill out and are a great way to involve your kids or anyone who is too squeamish to pick up litter.