Anza celebrates Earth Day

Kaitlin and Alice Kindaid from Temecula Olive Oil Company offered tasty samples of their wares during the Anza Earth Day event Saturday, April 22. Diane Sieker photo

The 10th Annual Anza Earth Day celebration April 22 at Anza’s Minor Park was a sensational success.

Not only was this an educational event, but Anza’s Earth Day was a special time to socialize, learn, touch, see and absorb a huge menu of earth-friendly activities and presentations.

Hosted by The High Country Conservancy, the celebration covered all things sustainable, with displays, discussions, and downright fun.

Lalo’s Tacos by Maria Rosas had people lined up for their delicious food for the entire day. The fare was excellent. Other vendors offered local honey, jams, jellies, spices, stuffed olives and olive oils for sampling and sale.

All the while, popular tunes were provided by Music by Ed Wall & Hapu Ching (ukuleles), Milt (Jordy) Jordan, Dany Foye of Cowboy Bang Bang and Rick Brengle of Nameless Band.

Lectures and discussions for the day included “Rainwater Harvesting,” by Marea Stinnett; “Leave No Trace,” by Allison Renck; and “Firescaping with Native Plants,” by Annika Knoppel.

Many of the displays revolved around country living, animals, conservation, self-sufficiency and being prepared in an emergency.

The Riverside County Department of Waste Resources hosted a booth, offering informative flyers regarding hazardous waste collection days, safe and free medical sharps and medications disposal, and classes on backyard composting. Questions were enthusiastically answered by knowledgeable and friendly staff.

ConnectAnza was on hand, offering goodie bags and news on the internet connectiviy progress in the area. Anza is steadily becoming a fiber optics-connected community thanks to ConnectAnza.

Allison Renck of the Redshank Riders not only gave a presentation on “Leave No Trace,” but had flyers regarding a training event being offered locally in June. This course will enhance students’ understanding of Leave No Trace practices, principles and ethics, the point being to leave the wild lands as you found them when camping, hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking, among other activities.

Denise Squires of Woolly & Knot Farm came equipped with the kids, kid goats, that is. The herd of tiny creatures bounced and played the day away, and the children loved every minute of it.

“It was fun to see the kids’ reaction to the baby goats and answering questions. I enjoyed bringing them out for a visit. The goat kids are purebred Nigerian Dwarfs all between 10 and 12 weeks old. I wanted to bring some Angora rabbits for Angora spinning but it was too warm,” Squires said. Angora rabbits, bred for their soft wool, are very sensitive to overly warm temperatures and it was better that they stay home and nice and cool.

Christine Dodge of Healing Hawk Yoga, Kimberlie Teel of KAT Co. Organic Feed store, Alice and Kaitlin Kincaid of the Temecula Olive Oil Company and so many other groups advertised their earth-friendly and healthy wares. Jewelry, clothes, blankets and more could be purchased from vendors. Hamilton High School students sold recycled painted bottles as vases complete with flowers and bottles or cans as pencil cup holders that included new No.2 pencils, the theme illustrating the recycle-reuse mindset.

Nicolette Jonkhoff, EPA Manager of the Ramona Band of Cahuilla Indians exhibited the emergency supply kits that she is developing and she welcomed input and suggestions from everyone.

“Earth day celebrates the planet’s environment and raises public awareness about pollution and conservation,” Event organizer Annika Knoppel said. “As always, the vendors talked the talk and walked the walk, selling quality examples of all-natural products embracing the “reduce, reuse and recycle” principle. I was especially excited to see the students from Hamilton High selling artistic and functional recycled products. The youth involvement at Anza Earth Day is paramount, after all, the future is theirs. We will definitely hold the event in April, next year, close to the actual Earth Day.”

Patrick Vesey attended the celebration with his family.

“It was Einstein that said, ’Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better.’ Anza may not be rich in the pocketbook but we have a strong appreciation for the wealth that nature brings into our lives,” he said.

For more information on Anza Earth Day, contact Annika Knoppel by calling (951) 389-0220 or by email at

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