In 2007, Encinitas resident Bob Nanninga, a former columnist for The Coast News and ardent environmental activist (he also co-owned the green-certified E Street Café), wrote about his experience at Balboa Park’s annual Earth Day fair, billed by organizers as “the world’s largest annual environmental fair and Earth Day Celebration.”
By mid-afternoon the glamour of Earth Day had been worn away by the river of humanity meandering down the Prado. Tired, sun-baked, and fresh off my global-warming soapbox, I wondered if any of it really mattered. Where was the edge? Did any of this make a difference? Was I just too jaded to enjoy the day? Why wasn’t this the inspirational challenge it used to be?
Well, as if on cue, inspiration showed up in the form of Sofia Beeson and Spencer Sampson, two Encinitas residents who walked to the San Diego Earth Fair from Encinitas. Leaving at 4 in the morning and arriving at 3:30 p.m., these young 20-somethings walked the 30 miles with an “Earth Day or Bust” sign on Sophia’s back. Spencer carried their day pack.
Finally a connection.
Both were beaming with accomplishment. I was humbled by their example, as were my colleagues, and anyone else who has heard of their epic undertaking.
Nanninga passed away in February. He was just 45.
Sofia Beeson plans to carry on his walk-the-talk environmental ethos this Earth Day, April 19, when she’ll again make the Encinitas-Balboa Park trek by foot. She’s gathered sponsors and invites the entire San Diego community to join her for the second edition of Walk Lightly Now.
“The walk is not only in commemoration of Bob and what inspired him — seeing people take tangible steps to show their concern about the environment — but also to make a statement that the environmental lifestyle extends beyond an Earth Day fair,” Beeson said.
The walk will begin at midnight at Yoga Swami in Encinitas at 912 South Coast Highway 101. Participants can either walk the full 27 miles or join in anywhere along the route. Each registered participant gets a T-shirt (organic, of course) and an açai bowl from Mozy Cafe upon arrival at EarthFair around 9 a.m.
To register (it’s free), visit walklightlynow.org.