Earth Day in North County

Pepper Tree Day at the Mission San Luis Rey

If you want to experience a fun-filled family day and enjoy the inner gardens not generally accessible to the public, don’t miss Pepper Tree Day, known as North County’s Earth Day Celebration, Sunday, April 15, 2007, 11:00 AM to 4:30 PM at Mission San Luis Rey.

Co-sponsored by Genentech and North County Times, the day celebrates the oldest pepper tree in California, located on Mission grounds and features interactive and educational events and displays for children and adults of all ages. Jewelry making from recyclables, sand art, adobe brick making, native planting, story telling, a ladybug release, and drumming courtesy of the Museum of Making Music are a few of the day’s highlights. A demonstration geared to fourth-graders and their parents includes how to create a Mission model out of recyclable materials. Vendors and exhibitors teach recycling, explain wastewater treatment and help children and adults alike gain an appreciation of the environment. Also on hand will be the Oceanside Pacific Kiwanis Club to perform Child ID services, the fingerprinting of children, the Oceanside Public Library Bookmobile, cell phone recycling, Vial of Life (providing emergency medical history packets), electric car and scooter display, and a North County Transit clean burning natural gas bus.

For those who would like to exercise, there will be A Family Fun Fitness Walk, walking 1,000 steps towards the recommended 10,000 steps a day, with pedometers provided to the first 250 participants, courtesy of Genentech and 2 for 1 tickets to Legoland and the Carlsbad Flower Fields.

Entertainment includes Music by Emmalyn, the Patchwork Players, singer Amanda Chapman, Native Talk, Canine Companions, and face painting. There also will be a Behind the Scenes Mission Era Tour by famed archeologist Dr. Jack Williams and a Horticultural Tour by Friar James Lockman, ofm, the Executive Director of Mission San Luis Rey. These tours require advance reservations.

Adults will enjoy the Farmer’s Market with produce and plants to purchase, the beautiful inner gardens, exhibits and horticultural experts. Refreshments and food will be available throughout the day from Hunter Steakhouse, authentic Mexican food from Viva Market, Kettle Corn, and root beer floats.

As an extension of the fourth-grade California Missions curriculum, Mission San Luis Rey is sponsoring an essay contest focusing on the Pepper Tree. Open to all fourth-grade students, three top writers will be honored and receive awards. All essay participants attending the event receive a certificate and prize. The deadline for the contest is March 23, 2007.

Exhibitors include: San Diego Regional Eco-Justice and Sustainability, Heifer International, Enviro Bike, Electric Vehicle Association of San Diego, E-World Recyclers collecting computer hardware and almost anything with a plug (call for details), Discover Power, Surfrider, Solana Recyclers, Canine Companions, San Diego Gas and Electric conducting a light bulb exchange, Carlsbad African Violet Society, Encina Wastewater Authority, City of Encinitas, City of Oceanside, City of Vista, North County Transit District bringing an natural gas bus, Saturn of Oceanside bringing a hybrid car, Rancho Guajome Adobe Park, Sierra Club of North County Coasters, San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians offering sand art, Vista Gem and Mineral Club, and Shaklee Biodegradable Products, St. Clare’s, Scripps Birch Aquarium, Barnes & Noble,

Speakers include Major General Lehnert, USMC from Camp Pendleton, Mark Loukides, Head of Operations, Johnson & Johnson PRD, and Brother Mark Schroeder, ofm.

As part of the Pepper Tree Day celebration, the Mission is looking for environmentally based organizations interested in participating in this Earth Day event. If your company or organization has a service or cause that would be appropriate for our Earth Day celebration contact us for more information on how to get involved. For more information or to receive an exhibitor package, visit our website at or call (760) 757-3651, ext 146.

Plan on joining us for this fun-filled free family day at Mission San Luis Rey at 4050 Mission Avenue.

About Mission San Luis Rey

Mission San Luis Rey, the King of the Missions, a National Historic Landmark, was founded in 1798 and is the largest of the 21 California Missions. It is now ranked first among the Seven Wonders of North County according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. Home of the Franciscan Friars of California, Mission San Luis Rey is open to people of all faiths and offers a wide range of facilities and services to residents and businesses in San Diego County, throughout California and across the U.S. These include the nationally-recognized museum; staff- and self-guided tours; a renowned cemetery; and Retreat Center that sponsors retreats, hosts business and religious conferences and retreats. Mission San Luis Rey is located at 4050 Mission Avenue in Oceanside, CA. Take I-5 to Hwy 76 East, turn left on Rancho Del Oro Road and continue straight to the Mission entrance. For more information, please visit