Think green, Montrose

Apr 22nd @ 9:16 am in News by Scott Staley

Think Green Montrose

This story comes from the Daily Press

By Katharhynn Heidelberg Daily Press Senior Writer

Montrose isn’t confining Earth Day celebrations to just Monday — the city and many partners are making a week of it, promoting planet-friendly activities through a variety of events.

“I don’t think we’ve ever before had a full week,” Montrose Mayor Judy Ann Files said.

The celebration gets under way at noon Monday, with opening ceremonies for Earth Day at Centennial Plaza. Guest speakers, children’s reading time and a free movie are all planned for the rest of the day. ( for the full schedule for the week.)

The city is handing out orange trash bags for people who want to clean up their neighborhoods, said Tina Woodrum, a city employee who is helping with organization.

A “clean-up day” is also slated for Buckley Park on Tuesday — and Files said she can’t wait to get her hands dirty, along with Northside Elementary students who are helping pick up trash and spread mulch under playground equipment.

“I’m real excited about that,” Files said, adding that the clean-up will not only help teach kids how to be responsible stewards, but also teach the importance of community involvement.

The clean-up begins at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the park. Woodrum said all are welcome and depending on turnout, the clean-up might be extended to Lions Park.

The Going Green Expo wraps up events planned for the week from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday. There is also a seed-saving and seed swap that day from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the library.

“We’re trying to make it a fun culmination of the week, an opportunity for people to get information about how they can conserve our resources better,” Karen Nicholson, a member of the city’s recycling advisory group, said of the expo. Nicholson is married to City Councilor Bob Nicholson.

The Going Green Expo is at Centennial Plaza and features product demonstration, information on transportation alternatives, information about how to grow your own food, and steps to eliminate wasteful products such as sandwich and plastic bags, Karen Nicholson said.

A variety of kid-friendly educational events are planned, along with a recycling-sorting contest, music, quizzes and contests.

City Councilor Carol McDermott has organized the Earth Champion Writing Challenge for middle school students in Montrose and Olathe. Essays are to be displayed at the former Wild Rose building on Main Street and in the Centennial Room, Woodrum said.

“We have some fun things that the kids have done. They did a good job,” Woodrum said.

On Thursday, All Points Transit is offering all comers a chance to try its bus service for free. The Montrose bus and Olathe shuttle are free that day. Schedules are available at; City Hall, the library, City Market locations and at All Points’ office, 100 Tessitore Court, Suite D.

Other events are sandwiched between opening day and closing ceremonies.

Files said she is especially looking forward to Wednesday’s city recycling program discussion led by public works director John Harris. The discussion is at noon at the Montrose Regional Library, 320 S. Second St.

The city’s recently relaunched recycling program is exceeding participation expectations, the mayor said.

“We spend far more for trash at the landfill than we do to get the recycling taken care of. We’re just real excited about what’s being done, how many people are participating,” Files said.

The week also affords opportunities to get rid of trash that can’t be recycled. The city’s annual spring clean-up is offered Thursday and Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can drop off certain waste and appliances at the designated site on North San Juan Avenue across from Sunshine Peak apartments. Fees apply to certain wastes and there are restrictions; see for details.

“In the past, we’ve driven around town and picked up the trash,” Woodrum said. “This year, residents can drop it all off at one location. It’s anything to reduce having the carbon footprint of having the trucks drive all over town for two weeks, and also to help save some money, too.”

Each day of the week is dedicated to a specific earth-friendly topic and features related events. Earth Day is focused on reducing waste every day; Tuesday, on water conservation; Wednesday is refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle day; Thursday is aimed at teaching people to rethink their consumption habits, and Friday is Arbor Day.

The city is organizing simultaneous tree plantings at all five elementary schools that day, Files said.

Saturday’s theme is reconnect, replenish and renew.

Each day except Saturday includes a free movie. Monday’s is from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Habitat for Humanity’s Re-Store Barn (1601 N. Townsend Ave.). Bring your own chairs and blankets.

“Bag It” plays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Montrose Pavilion, with guest speaker Michelle Hill, the film’s producer. Wednesday, “Living Downstream” plays at the Re-Store Barn from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Thursday’s movie, “No Impact Man,” plays at the same location and time.

Friday’s movie, “The Lorax” plays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the pavilion.

The Montrose Botanic Gardens is hosting informational sessions Monday through Friday at its location south of the pavilion. Topics include Xeriscaping and composting and the sessions are from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The week serves as an important reminder, Nicholson said.

“I think it’s just to revisit how we use our resources and see if we can think about ways we can do things better, so that we don’t leave a bigger imprint than we have to,” she said.

“It’s time to sit back and think about the best way to use our resources.”