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Davis

Davis, California

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Cool Davis Festival in Central Park on Oct. 12

Cool Davis’ third annual Cool Davis Festival will take place on Saturday, Oct. 12 in Central Park, from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

According to Lynne Nittler, co-chair of Cool Davis, the Cool Davis Initiative has almost 60 partner organizations from the Davis community who focus on reducing transportation-induced carbon footprints and hosting zero waste events in the workplace.

“Changing our behavior will be an all-out effort, and we need the support of schools, churches, businesses and every other group and individuals if we are to succeed. We especially love working with UC Davis students. They have helped with projects, volunteered at our various events and offered their research skills,” Nittler said in an email.

The festival will be open to everyone of all ages, and feature live entertainment and music, exhibits, games and information about carbon footprint reduction. These varied exhibitions are centered around the idea of a greener Davis.

“The theme is actually supposed to be ‘Getting Cooler All the Time,’” said Kerry Daane Loux, Cool Davis Festival chair, in an email.

Davis was named the “Coolest City” in California this past year, but Cool Davis wants the City of Davis to keep getting cooler, keep up the progress to minimize the carbon footprint and encourage other cities to do the same.

“In July, City Council adopted the 2013 Integrated Waste Management Plan, which is a road map to achieving 75 percent waste diversion. Our recycling program received a statewide award last year as well,” said Jennifer Gilbert, conservation coordinator for City of Davis Public Works Department, in an email. “Next year, the city will be celebrating its 40th anniversary of having a curbside recycling program. There are so many different ways that Davis is green and becoming greener every day.”

The idea of global warming has been highly debated, but the correlation between climate changes or at least atmospheric fluctuations and human-influenced carbon output has been scientifically proven.

“I suspect more and more people are aware that the climate situation is serious, and each of us has to take more than just small steps toward changing our lifestyles that depend on the luxury of fossil fuels,” Nittler said.

Cool Davis aims to show Davis residents the ways in which they can minimize their waste and lead to a greener community.

“I believe that Davis is the sort of city that could model the kind of transition we need away from fossil fuels to a low carbon, clean-energy future,” said Nick Buxton, communications consultant for Cool Davis, in an email.

Cool Davis has enlisted Unitrans to give free bus rides to Central Park, as a way of encouraging public transportation.

“The most important thing we can do for the environment is educate each other,” said Libby Wolf, a City of Davis employee. “But not just education, we need to follow up with action and be a part of it.”

Additionally, Third Street between B and C streets will be closed to make way for cyclists and pedestrians traveling to the festival. Third Street will be the site of exciting cycling activities including the Bike Circus, Davis Bike Polo exhibition game and the Elected Officials Cycle Race.

“Our message is in some ways simple: start on the path of self- examination and keep going. Consider your transportation (the largest part of our collective footprint in Davis despite all the bike paths and the excellent busing system), your home energy efficiency and your consumption (including waste and food print),” Nittler said.

Nittler added that every one of their film screenings, workshops, forums, newspaper articles and competitions revolves around one or more of these three areas.

The Cool Davis Initiative aims to make Davis a healthier and happier community that works together toward practical solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Davis was named the “Coolest City” in California by the state because of its pride in increased environmental consciousness. Additionally, UC Davis was named Sierra Magazine’s “#4 Coolest School” this year.

“I believe many people have begun the transformation, but I know we have a steep climb ahead if we are to avoid the worst consequences of global warming,” Nittler said.

SHANNON SMITH can be reached at city@theaggie.org.

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