OnCentral | Reporting on health and quality of life in South LA

Early Earth Day bike ride ends with yoga, gardening at South LA festival

South L.A. celebrates Earth Day early with a bike ride and festival this Saturday.
South L.A. celebrates Earth Day early with a bike ride and festival this Saturday.

Earth Day blooms early in South L.A. this year.

The official green holiday is slated for April 22, but a health-conscious bike ride and festival ending at Normandie Ave. Elementary School will celebrate all things earth-friendly on April 6. A group of cyclists led by Ride South L.A. will push off from Mercado La Paloma on Saturday at 10 a.m. and head a few miles southwest to the school. 

There, Earth Day festivities begin, with cooking demonstrations, yoga workshops and an array of activities for kids. 

"This growing grassroots  movement demonstrates what people can do with limited resources  and endless commitment once we organize with each other  resourcefully to spark the power shift," says Community Services Unlimited, Inc.,  a local group that works to make healthy food more available in South Central.

Community Services Unlimited, along with VegFund and Councilwoman Jan Perry's office, are putting on the weekend festival. For a suggested $5 donation—though no one will be turned away if they can't pay—people can learn how to make seed bombs, prune fruit trees and use common garden herbs for healing purposes. Earth Day revelers can also learn how to write poetry, belly dance or get some exercise with Zumba dance sessions.

Attendees are warned that "this is a plastic water bottle free event," so people should bring their own reusable water bottles or use paper cups available at water stations throughout the event. 

"Together we envision an annual Earth Day event where community residents come together in a safe environment to have fun, celebrate our foods and cultures, learn about and participate in sustainable practices, and connect with each other and organizations working to make positive change in our neighborhood," say event organizers.

This weekend's event promises quite a few freebies as well; including vegan food samples and raffle prizes such as yoga class gift certificates, museum passes, produce bags and Patagonia goods.