Sunday is Earth Day. Here’s how you can gay it up

Earth-Day1AIDS Arms distributes information at lots of mainstream venues. And Old Oak Cliff Conservation League isn’t gay, just the presidents of most of its member homeowner associations are. And Hunky’s? Merely a neighborhood restaurant in Cedar Springs and the Bishop Arts District.

By the same token, Oak Cliff Earth Day is not a gay event — just ask any of its many gay organizers.

But Oak Cliff Earth Day — sponsored by a local businesses and owners, like Monica Greene and Hewitt and Habgood Realty Group — will feature booths by AIDS Arms, the OOOC and Hunky’s as well as more than 100 exhibitors in the park, from animal rescues to food vendors to artists and artisans, garden clubs and neighborhood associations. Even Home Depot will be there.

“This all works to help make Oak Cliff unique, with straight, gay, bisexual, and transgender men and women working together; all nationalities and races work together for the common good,” says Roger Bolen, co-chair of OC Earth Day. “I would like to think of Oak Cliff as a model that I would like to see emulated throughout the city, state and nation.”

The Human Rights Campaign’s Family Project is meeting at noon by the rocket ship in the playground in Lake Cliff Park for a picnic.

Nope, not gay at all.

Oak Cliff Earth Day, Lake Cliff Park, 300 E. Colorado Blvd. Noon–5 p.m.

In the broader city, Earth Day Dallas returns to Fair Park. With 600 exhibitors promoting their green achievements, the Eco Expo is the centerpiece of the event. Throughout the day, speakers will address water allocation, global warming and future sustainability issues. Former First Lady Laura Bush, honorary chair of the National Parks Foundation, is among those scheduled to attend. The Home & Garden Workshop corner features demonstrations on composting, rainwater harvesting and green money-saving tips.

And foodies take note: The Nature Conservancy will host Picnic for the Planet, which it hopes to be get into the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest picnic ever in a 24-hour period with worldwide participation. In Dallas, the event will take place at Fair Park with a new picnic starting every half hour.

The rules are simple: At least 25 people must participate in each picnic, and all participants must be seated, have two food items and a drink. Each attempt must last at least 10 minutes — no one can leave during that time. And no one can participate more than once.
Please. We do brunch for four hours every Sunday — this should be a piece of cake.

Fair Park, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

The W Hotel is commemorating Earth Day with its Make A Green Choice program that will result in 500 extra Starpoints for guests who opt out of having their room cleaned and towels changed daily. “You save enough water to give one person a cup and a half every day for a year; you save enough natural gas to keep a 400 square-foot room cozy for four hours in 10-degree weather,” they point out. Sounds like a good way to save the planet while still luxuriating at the W.

— David Taffet

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 20, 2012.