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Vail to distribute free seeds to celebrate Earth Day

April 21, 2020, 9:05 am

Earth Day’s 50th anniversary is Wednesday, April 22. To celebrate, the Town of Vail is providing complimentary native wildflower and vegetable seeds to residents to sow seeds of joy.

Residents are encouraged to plant native wildflower seeds to attract pollinators and smiles as well as spinach and lettuce as a source of healthy food this summer. The seeds will be available to pick up at the checkout counters at City Market in Vail Wednesday on a first-come, first-served basis. Share the love and please limit one packet per person.

Residents are encouraged to plant the seeds indoors and transplant them outside when warmer weather arrives. While planting and as the plants grow, residents are asked to take pictures and share them on social media with the hashtag #LoveVailGrows. Planting instructions can be found on www.lovevail.org.

While the annual Vail cleanup has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 situation, the town is encouraging residents to get outside and clean up their neighborhoods while practicing social distance. Residents can dispose of collected trash in dumpsters provided by the town for this alternative cleanup effort from May 4-15 or until they are full, whichever comes first.

The dumpsters will be located at the North Trailhead parking lot in West Vail, the Ford Park parking lot and the East Vail interchange parking area at I-70 exit 180. The hard to recycle day held annually each May will be rescheduled later this summer. Details will be available on the town’s website once they are confirmed.

As a preview of other sustainability initiatives to come this summer, Town of Vail will be kicking off the annual Sole Power Green Commuting Challenge on Monday, May 25. Celebrating its 10th year, Sole Power is the free green commuting challenge for Eagle County residents that supports active transportation such as biking, walking and skating instead of motorized options to commute to work, run errands or attend social engagements.

Participants get outside, get fit, reduce their carbon footprint, save money, win prizes and have fun. In 2019, 255 participants logged over 38,500 miles and reduced over 35,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. To sign up, visit www.solepower.org.

In addition, Town of Vail is working with Bewegen Technologies to implement an electric bike share pilot program this summer. For ten weeks from July 1 to Sept. 9, 12 electric assist bikes will be available for residents and visitors to utilize. The goal of the pilot program is to determine effectiveness of an electric bike share as an alternative mode of transportation for commuting rather than driving personal vehicles during non-winter months. 

In Eagle County, the average resident commutes 40 miles per day, which is double the national average. Transportation is growing as the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the county. The Climate Action Collaborative has released a Commuter Study for all Eagle County residents to participate in.

This is an important study to provide insights into barriers to residents accessing public transportation, carpooling and other human powered modes of transportation. Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey and earn a chance to win an electric bike. The survey can be accessed at https://surveys.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0VgbqLc82ttv44l.

Town of Vail shares a message of hope and resilience on Earth Day. While celebrating “alone together,” we are confident that the strength and resilience of the greater community will enable us to overcome any adversity that challenges our community from a global pandemic to climate change and come out stronger. Wishing everyone a safe and happy Earth Day 2020!  

For more information on Vail’s sustainability initiatives, contact Beth Markham, Town of Vail environmental sustainability coordinator, at 970-479-2333 or at bmarkham@vailgov.com.

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