Expo out, Earth Day 2010 in

GLENDALE — City officials announced Wednesday that the second annual Eco Expo, which was to be Saturday, has been canceled.

Citing lack of staff resources brought on by a citywide hiring freeze as part of this summer's budget cuts, Neighborhood Services Program Coordinator Sandra Rodriguez said the decision was made to cancel the expo and instead focus on planning a public event for Earth Day 2010.

The decision to cancel the Eco Expo was made in July, but only announced publicly Wednesday, three days before it was scheduled to take place at Cerritos Park.

Hundreds of people turned up for the first Eco Expo in September last year, which was preceded by a torch relay run kicked off by then-Mayor John Drayman.

But with staffing shortages this year, Rodriguez said her department did not feel they could pull off a similarly “high quality” event.

Last year, torch bearers lead participants in quarter-mile legs from Crescenta Valley Park to Cerritos Park, where an expo touting sustainability measures and environmentally friendly products was waiting.

When the decision to cancel the expo was made in July, Rodriguez said only a couple of exhibitors had signed up because city officials had yet to really market and push for registration, so the impact to vendors was minimal.

With the expo scrapped for this year, a coalition of city departments could focus on producing a public city event to coincide with Earth Day in April 2010, Rodriguez said.

“April is just as good, I'm sure,” she said.

Glendale has for years gone without a regional Earth Day event, so news that the city would be working to that end was welcomed by Alek Bartrosouf, co-founder of the nonprofit Coalition for a Green Glendale.

“If there's going to be a day when they push for environmental awareness, I would love for it to be on Earth Day,” he said.

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