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Glass tiles form lines across the Civic Center Plaza, in rows where water used to spray up from fountains, darkening the surrounding concrete.

Although the heavy rains that have hit Cupertino have recently soaked the concrete, it’s been quite some time since the fountains’ water has touched that ground. Now, the area where little kids used to run around yelping as cold water splashed them is mostly empty. On April 22, that area became a stage for elementary school students to read short poems they wrote about why this planet matters.

This was Cupertino’s ninth annual Earth Day and Arbor Day Festival, in which booths raised awareness about everything concerning the planet – from solar panels to preserving hiking trails. Other booths featured DIYs for younger kids using recycled materials, while one booth preached that charcoal should be left in the soil to nourish plants, not burnt to release gases that pollute our air. These are just a few of the booths that lined the sides of the Cupertino Civic Center Plaza as people milled about eating falafels and frozen yogurt they had bought from the food trucks parked just across the street.

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About Author

Ilena Peng is a second year staff member and news editor for El Estoque. She also writes a news column titled "Beyond the status quote."