Roseville Utility Exploration Center
● By Wendy Sipple
Photos by Dante Fontana
The official anniversary of the “Save The Earth!” movement was held April 22, 1970, with the observance of the first Earth Day celebration. It was the first nationally organized event to recognize the importance of learning about our growing environmental problems. Forty-one years later, we are still learning and working hard to help our planet. With the help of the Roseville Utility Exploration Center, Roseville residents and visitors from all over northern California and beyond are getting the message to reduce, reuse and recycle.
The center is the first and only one of its kind on the West Coast. Their mission is to educate kids (grades 1-6) in the region by holding classes on the benefits of “going green.” This means teaching them how to use renewable/recycled resources in their everyday life. However, the center’s many interactive displays educate people of all ages on how small changes can bring about big results. “We encourage all our residents to change their lifestyle,” Director Bob Garrison explains. The non-profit center is partially sponsored by the City of Roseville’s Electric and Environmental Utilities Departments to support their message of conservation.
“We show people how they can change to affect change on the planet,” Garrison says. And according to Garrison, the center touched 100,000 lives in 2010. The exhibits and education are just one part of the center; they also have a cool “green” shop and many recycling and exchange programs.
Roseville’s Whole Foods Market is a huge supporter of the center and was the presenting sponsor for this year’s Earth Day event. The center and the eco-friendly market have the same common goal and cause: trying to make the world a better place. “Mother Nature is happier with us living a healthy lifestyle and respecting our planet,” says Jill Miller, marketing team leader at Whole Foods Market. Whole Foods is also sponsoring the traveling exhibit of Charles Schulz’s work “Peanuts…Naturally” in 2012. Many of Schulz’s Charlie Brown cartoon strips explored the relationship between humans and nature. “It is a right-fit for Whole Foods to support the center,” Miller says.
Docent Randy Crawford is the center’s volunteer coordinator and has worked at the center, along with Garrison, since it opened in January 2008. Crawford loves his job and promoting saving the earth. “The center is a hopeful place to work,” Crawford explains. “We offer a positive optimistic message.” Working at the center has changed his outlook on living and saving money, too. “It has set me up for success by helping the environment and lowering my monthly bills,” he says. Crawford radiates excitement when talking about his job and the center. “We can facilitate a change in perceptions by not just caring about yourself,” he says.
We all can make simple and painless changes that can dramatically change our environment for the better. It is easy once we break the habit of wasting resources. By helping the earth, we can really make a difference with our planet and our pocketbooks.•
For more information, visit roseville.ca.us/explore.