image- wildflowers
Wildflowers are only part of the reason for a celebration at Half Moon Bay State Beach on Saturday. It's also a chance to observe Earth Day. Kyle Ludowitz / Review

Coastsiders are invited to an early celebration of Earth Day at the Coastal Wildflower and Earth Day event this Saturday, April 13.

The sixth annual event, which is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Half Moon Bay State Beach on Kelly Avenue, will feature live music, art, family-friendly activities, tasty food, and guided nature walks.

The focus of this year’s event is climate resilience. 

“We are seeing a lot of disasters around the world due to climate change,” said Barbara Morris, supervising ranger for California State Parks at Half Moon Bay State Beach. “We want people to understand how everything is tied together.

“The wildflowers are tied to the insects and birds. The native plants help control soil erosion,” she said.

California State Parks staff and volunteers will be on hand all day to teach visitors about the diverse ecosystems that thrive in the coastal environment. 

Native plant expert Toni Corelli will lead two walks during the day, one at 10:45 a.m. and another at 12:45 p.m. They will illuminate the diversity of native plant species here on the San Mateo County coast.

Gardeners can find native plants for sale from the Francis Beach Nursery, including yarrow, blue-eyed grass, sea pinks, California aster and many more. Meanwhile, bird lovers can learn about the raptors, songbirds, cormorants, snowy plovers and other native birds that make their home on the coast on a guided bird walk with Rita Jennings at 1 p.m.

If you are hungry, Llamas of Harbor Village will have a food truck on hand with Peruvian and Mexican cuisine, and live entertainment will be provided by the Lighthouse String Band, Leah Walters, Chinese Melodrama and the Half Moon Bay High School jazz band. 

And the wildflowers?

The coastal bluffs are dotted with early blooms of yellow oxalis, California poppy, Douglas iris and even a few precocious varicolored lupine, but Morris said the main event is still a few weeks away.

“It’s a little early in the wildflower blooming season here on the coast,” she said. “You can think of this as the kickoff to wildflower season.”

This version corrects the spelling of Barbara Morris's name.

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