Earth Day celebration returns to Steamboat on Saturday |

Earth Day celebration returns to Steamboat on Saturday

Local artist Jill Bergman created this painting for the 2022 Earth Day celebration in Steamboat Springs.
Courtesy photo

Smokey the Bear will grace the base of Steamboat Resort on Saturday, April 9, as part of the Earth Day celebration from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Yampa Valley Sustainability Council is organizing the event along with 17 different local businesses and nonprofits, in addition to the U.S. Forest Service, which will be bringing along Smokey.

Instead of hosting the event on April 22, planners decided to schedule the local Earth Day celebration to coincide with the mountain’s closing weekend to maximize participation.

Among the many partnering businesses and organizations will be the Town Hall Outdoor Co., the Community Agriculture Alliance, Bar-U-Eat, Yampatika and more.

The celebration will host several activities designed to educate the community on a variety of sustainability strategies. The Routt County Wildfire Mitigation Council, for example, will be present to educate people on various ways to assess wildfire risk.

Several of the businesses and nonprofits will also try to enlist help from the community by offering internships and volunteer opportunities.

“Students need an avenue in our community to get those experiential work opportunities,” said Kate Brocato, the communications and program manager for YVSC.

This is the first year YVSC has taken the reins on organizing the Earth Day celebration. The Steamboat Springs Public Library was the most recent organizer. The past two celebrations were canceled due to the pandemic, and it wasn’t until Jan. 11 of this year, after local artist Jill Bergman submitted a painting titled “Earth Day 2022,” when YVSC decided to go all-in.

“It was like a concert poster with no concert,” Bergman said, describing her painting before this year’s Earth Day celebration was conceptualized.

After the leaders of YVSC saw the image, work was quickly underway to establish partnerships with local businesses and nonprofits.

“I think the image got the idea rolling but they planned the event,” Bergman said.

Bergman will be present at the event where she will be selling prints, posters and stickers with her painting.

“I think what she put together is such a beautiful image that encapsulates all that the Yampa Valley is,” Brocato said of Bergman’s work.

All proceeds from the Earth Day celebration will go toward an endowment fund that provides grants to local nonprofits that specialize in sustainability.

“This community really collaborates and comes together to support environmental stewardship,” said Michelle Stewart, executive director of YVSC.

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