April 22 is Earth Day worldwide and will be celebrated in Sandy Valley, Nevada, by honoring those who have defended Sandy Valley's local aquifer with history, art, science, and music at its second annual event of a planned decade of micro°fests rain or shine, free for all ages at the Sandy Valley Senior Center, 690 Quartz Avenue from noon to 4 p.m.
Participants are asked to "Bring Your Lunch" as its tradition.
Sandy Valley Earth Day: Decade of Micro°Fests was founded by the trustee of Richard and Drue Bale Family Trust, M. Donnelly, with a theme of water.
Sandy Valley, forty miles south of Las Vegas, has modern amenities and fierce vigilant protection of its local aquifer. For a decade, dozens of unstoppable resident volunteers worked with geologist Joy Fiore, lawyer Al Marquis, Judge Dawn Haviland, and others to stop large companies from taking water from their Sandy Mesquite aquifer to ship it roughly 20 miles over mountains to Primm for high-profit casino commercial use. That would have likely caused permanent drought in this mostly micro-agricultural horse-raising community. These unconquerable residents became known as the "Water Warriors."
It started when the Bacher and Knight families, living on Cherokee Avenue, saw industrial trucks with giant conduit pipes plowing into the dry lakebed outside their windows on a holiday weekend. Their combined quick action stopped the effort of the companies. This water celebration will showcase art commissioned by muralist and Sandy Valley resident Shawn Ealy to honor them. It will be permanently displayed above a sleek steel water fountain in the Senior Center. Shawn's painting collage will feature local gems, sand, artifacts, and an interpretation of the warrior logo amidst a locally inspired water scene.
After the lead attorney died, the water warriors hired resident super-lawyer Al Marquis. Al is a Sandy Valley ranch owner, cowboy poet, and philanthropist, beloved for generosity and quick wit. He returns this year with his presentation, "Preserving Our Water," which shares legal battle twists, turns, and adventures, that resulted in the remarkable victorious decision from the Nevada Supreme Court that protects Sandy Valley, locally known as the "little village that beat the 'big guys' against all odds."
Nevada's local history will be remembered with a memory book of articles, photos, testimonies, and ephemera that will stay with Ealy's permanent art as a growing history archive.
Sandy Valley is part of the Goodsprings mining district, where Joe Good's abundant springs supply water to miners, companies, and travelers. Mary Blake of Goodsprings Historical Society, who returns a second year to Earth Day, will share the intricacies of collecting, distributing, and managing water. Of note, their annual walking tour is a "must-do!" Many dine afterward at the historically preserved Pioneer Saloon, which donates to GHS and other community events. Goodsprings "names wall" is featured in Pioneer's dining garden. Walking tour brochures are available in their general store.
Las Vegas Valley Water District retired engineer, Sandy resident Kevin McMahan, will speak about large and small water systems, pumping, purifying, and understanding the dynamics of water.
Southern Nevada Gem and Mineral Society lifetime member and Kids Club educational ambassador, Mary Beth Paladino, returns to talk about Marine Fossils and host an activity table with giveaways.
Rounding out the event is Reiki Master Eileen Meeks, Pahrump dot-com owner of Stoned Healer, who will share scientifically proven water "memory."
A joyful acoustic jam, hosted by Pioneer Saloon owner, guitarist Stephen Staats (aka Old Man Liver), and Remynders band member Kevin Magowan will play water-themed tunes, a few sing-alongs, as well as original music. Between presentations will be easy rubber-duckie games, giveaways, and a mermaid photo-op!
Earth Day was established in 1970 by Senator Gaylord Nelson to bolster public consciousness about air and water pollution. Employing Dennis Hayes to coordinate grassroots college involvement, their efforts led to establishing of the Environmental Protection Agency, Clean Air, and Clean Water Acts. Working collaboratively with Republican Pete McClosky, they chose April 22 because that is between Spring Break and Final Exams to maximize student participation.
Event line: 702-723-0085
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Handicap accessible, free parking.
The adjoining park has shaded picnic tables, bathrooms, and a grass lawn.
Directions from Las Vegas: Take I-15 south, Exit 12, and continue on Route 161, left on Sandy Valley Road (curvy mountain pass), right on Cherokee, which bends left and becomes Quartz, 690 Quartz on the far west end.