May the FOREST be with You: 18th Annual Summit for the Planet Festival Returns May 4

Everyone is welcome and “may the forest be with you!” at the 18th annual Summit for the Planet on Saturday, May 4 from 9:00am to 1:00pm at Mount Madonna School.

This free admission public festival begins with a 5K family hike that winds through enchanted trails lined with majestic redwoods and eucalyptus trees. Catch a glimpse of Monterey Bay at the finish line where you will be greeted with delicious vegetarian fare and live music. Wander the eco-carnival and enjoy games, live animals, a model solar-powered vehicle race, recycled “trash” fashion show and more!

With a nod to popular “Star Wars” culture, attendees are invited to come dressed as their favorite character from the film franchise and enjoy a fun, “intergalactic” Earth Day celebration. Note, please no lightsabers; weapons (or weapon-like accessories) of any kind are not allowed.

Hike registration begins at 9:00am; the hike starts at 10:00am, with the eco-carnival opening at 11:00am, followed by music, the Trash Fashion show and learning expo. The event concludes at 1:00pm.

From California kingsnakes and turkey vultures to barn owls and bearded dragons, the opportunity to get up close and hands-on with wildlife at the annual Summit for the Planet Earth Day festival is always a huge draw. Children and adults alike enjoy the many birds, reptiles and amphibians shared by the Bay Area Herpetological Society (BAHS) and Wildlife Education Rehabilitation Center (WERC), two participants in this community eco-festival.

With its unique spotlight on environmental education, the Summit for the Planet festival has grown to some 500 people of all ages, from south Santa Clara, San Benito, Santa Cruz and Monterey counties.

“Summit for the Planet is a celebration of Earth Day,” commented Head of School Ann Goewert, “and honors our school’s rich tradition of teaching environmental stewardship and raising environmentally aware children.”

Things to know when you go:
18th annual Summit for the Planet family hike and Earth Day festival, May 4 from 9:00am-1:00pm. Hosted by Mount Madonna School, 491 Summit Road, Watsonville, located 2.5 miles off of Hwy. 152, between Gilroy and Watsonville. The celebration has FREE admission. For more event information visit:

Summit for the Planet event flyer (downloadable PDF)


Contact: Leigh Ann Clifton, director of marketing & communications,

Nestled among the redwoods on 380 acres, Mount Madonna School (MMS) is a diverse learning community dedicated to creative, intellectual, and ethical growth. MMS supports its students in becoming caring, self-aware, discerning and articulate individuals; and believes a fulfilling life includes personal accomplishments, meaningful relationships and service to society. The program, accredited by the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) and Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville. Founded in 1979.