A butterfly inside of the butterfly habitat during an Earth Day celebration at Springs Preserve ...

Earth Day celebration at Springs Preserve draws 1,200 people

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Springs Preserve used Saturday to educate visitors about water conservation and sustainability in the Las Vegas desert.

The preserve welcomed families to its Earth Day celebration, complete with energy and water saving tips, a plant sale and an electric vehicle show.

“Every day is Earth Day at the Springs Preserve,” spokesman Tom Bradley Jr. said Saturday morning, noting that the campus expected 1,200 visitors.

Explorers could visit the Butterfly Habitat, which is open through May, learn about pollution and speak with vendors including NV Energy, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection and Robco Electric Inc., which sells solar panels.

“We hope everyone learns a little bit about sustainable living,” Bradley said. “With climate change going on and our environment as it is, we want people to understand what steps they can take to live more sustainably in this environment and under these conditions.”

The plant sale, which featured more than 100 desert flowers, cactuses and shrubs, had withered to just a handful of items left within an hour of opening. Each potted plant listed details about the acceptable sun exposure, watering and temperatures.

The Butterfly Habitat and surrounding gardens maintained a steady flow of visitors who appreciated the blooming roses and watched hummingbirds explore. Toddlers learned about thorns while others enjoyed the quiet shade provided by the foliage.

New Las Vegas residents Marnie and Rick Elsky said they were still adjusting to the desert climate after moving from New Orleans. The couple brought their twin daughters, Rachel and Sarah, 3, on the family’s first trip to Springs Preserve on Saturday.

“It’s gorgeous here,” Rick Elsky said. “I like gardening, and we went from a place with way too much water to nowhere near enough.”

Amanda Yoshioka tried to bring her 2-year-old son Benjiro to Toddler Time at Springs Preserve on Friday — the official Earth Day, held annually on April 22 — but when she got rained out, employees told her about the Saturday’s celebration. She returned with her husband, Airman Koji Yoshioka, and their youngest son, Niko.

“They’re dying to see the butterflies,” Amanda Yoshioka said of her sons. “We didn’t get to explore much the first time I was here. I didn’t realize how big it was when I came for Toddler Time. We have no idea what else is here. We’re enjoying the weather and just being outside.”

Contact Sabrina Schnur at sschnur@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.

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