This year for Earth Day the Sierra Club teamed up with the owners of local restaurant Copper Q to extend Earth Day awareness in Big Bear. The owners of Copper Q are expert conservationists, helping to beautify Big Bear Valley through Stalcup Landscape Innovations, Inc. Stalcup focuses on xeriscaping, or low water use landscaping.
During my visit the Sierra Club members introduced me to several local conservationists who were there to educate visitors on keeping Big Bear green. As Christie Walker, Big Bear Group President points out, “There is no planet B.” As I roamed around here’s what I learned.
Big Bear Valley Community Gardens Project
The Big Bear Valley Community Gardens Project offers a variety of tips for growing your own organic garden. I learned that in the 1930’s and 1940’s, forty percent of all households grew their own vegetables and fruits. That number has dropped to less than 5%. Soon the organization will open up a community gardening project located on Fox Farm Road between CVS Pharmacy and Big Bear Medical Center. The project will not only beautify Big Bear Lake but also provide space for residents to grow fruits and vegetables. The excess produce will be donated to local food banks. If you live locally and would like to be a partner in this exciting project, call 909-486-7676.
Big Bear Disposal offered tips on how to prepare items for recycling. I spent a few minutes talking to one of the recycling truck drivers, who shared with me a harrowing story! During her route someone put hot coals from their fireplace in the plastic recycling bucket. When the bucket was thrown onto her truck, her truck caught fire. Using this story as her teaching tool, she, along with Big Bear Disposal, is educating folks on what and how to recycle while visiting the area. There are numerous items that can be recycled and those that are NOT recyclable. Visit www.sbcounty.gov/dpw/solidwaste/ or call 800-722-8004 for more information.
Moonridge Zoo has some beautiful live animals on display and nearly all of the animals from the zoo have been rescued and cared for by the zoo staff. Some of the animals pictured here are the red tailed Kestrel, the Barn Owl and the Opossum. Visit www.moonridgezoo.com for a complete schedule and touring of the unique animals there.
Going to the zoo in Big Bear is one of my favorite summertime activities. One gets acquainted with the animals, birds, reptiles, learn their names and their stories, and it’s almost like “loving the animals in your own home”.
The US Forestry Department
The US Forestry Department has several programs to educate the public as well as volunteer programs to help maintain the natural environment. If you’re a property owner in Big Bear, the US Forestry Department has a program to help you keep excess and dead trees thinned from your property. Regardless of your income level, they will try to help you conserve, clean up for fire prevention, and protect property values. Call the forestry department at 7-888-883-THIN or visit The US Forestry Department.
Earth Smart has developed a biodegradable plastic which will improve water quality in the lake. Plastics in the lake are an area of great concern. It is heartbreaking to see ducks, fish, people, boat motors, etc., caught up in plastic debris. Biodegradable plastic is one answer to the problems plastic can cause; however, visitors should be aware that plastics do not belong in the lake and can cause considerable damage.
Friends of Fawnskin’s goal is to maintain environmental integrity of the historic small town of Fawnskin and the surrounding Big Bear Valley. They are a coalition of friends, neighbors and visitors of Fawnskin and Big Bear Valley. When in Big Bear, drive around the lake on the North Shore, stop in Fawnskin and enjoy some old history. If you want to make a difference in Big Bear Valley, Friends of Fawnskin will show you how. Their issues are fire safety, evacuation, zoning density, degradation of eagle and other endangered plant and animal habitat areas, just to touch the “tip of their iceberg.”
These folks offer a variety of information for hikers, bikers, campers, and any of those interested in our local mountains. They help maintain trails and signage throughout the valley and they schedule bike tours, hiking tours, on road and off road, with a guide. They explained to me the dangers in being unfamiliar with the terrain and suggested visitors contact www.bigbearvalleytrailsfoundation.com before coming to Big Bear to hike or bike in our beautiful San Bernardino Mountains. Big Bear Valley Trails wants you to have a safe, wonderful experience and keep coming back for more.
These are all great resources for keeping Big Bear green. If you’re coming to Big Bear Frontier for a vacation, we encourage you to enjoy yourself and relax and when it’s time to go home, we ask that you leave only footprints behind. See you soon!