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SLO County Beaver Festival returns for another year

Entrance to the SLO County Beaver Festival in Mission Plaza.
Sarina Grossi
Entrance to the SLO County Beaver Festival in Mission Plaza.

Crowds came to Mission Plaza to learn about a significant stakeholder in climate change — beavers. The San Luis Obispo County Beaver Festival returned for a second year this past weekend.

Hosted by the SLO Beaver Brigade, the festival aimed to educate visitors about beaver’s impact on the environment.

Cooper Lienhart is with the SLO Beaver Brigade. He said beavers support other wildlife habitats. Their dams help create wetlands in creeks and rivers, which absorb carbon in the atmosphere.

“Especially in this area where creeks often run dry or very low trickles in the summer, where they're beavers, they hold these deep ponds of water and actually keep water all year round,” Lienhart said.

Lienhart and other local activists were featured in a “speaker series,” where they gave talks on the rodent and its efforts to protect the environment and fight climate change. Families also enjoyed beaver-themed interactive displays, including building a beaver dam, creating a beaver tail and a beaver trivia contest.

New York Times best-selling author Leila Philip was the featured speaker and signed copies of her book Beaverland. She said it’s important to have a festival like this one to educate people on beavers, but also to inspire them to look at their own response to climate change.

“I can't underscore enough how important it is in this moment that we're living in where you know, hope that leads to action is what's gonna be our future,” Philip said.

The event also highlighted local nature-based organizations like the SLO Climate Coalition and Santa Barabara Permaculture.

KCBX Reporter Sarina Grossi is currently working to earn her Journalism degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She also works as a news anchor and reporter for KCPR Radio and as the Digital Manager for Mustang Media Group. Sarina was editor-in-chief of her community college newspaper. In her free time, she likes to read, watch movies, do arts and crafts, and go to thrift and antique stores.
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