Think Earth Day Every Day: Local Earth Day Events
Apr 01, 2017 04:53AM
The federal Every Student Succeeds Act, passed in December 2015 to take effect in the 2017-2018 school year, is the first law in U.S. history to include language that supports environmental education. Plans call for it to be integrated with current state standards, graduation requirements, teacher development and assessment, funding sources and policy action steps.
EducationWorld.com offers lesson plan ideas for students. For example, students from third grade through high school might collect their household junk mail and explore ways to reduce it. Those in kindergarten through eighth grade may create a binder of information on endangered species that includes maps, animal facts and threats to their survival, exploring causal interconnections throughout the planet.
Kathleen Rogers, president of the nonprofit Earth Day Network, on EarthDayNetwork.org, says, “We need to promote environmental consciousness into our children’s curricula so they are able to analyze problems, think critically, balance needs and take informed action.”
Earth Day isn’t just one day. Aware citizens can take a rewarding action every day. Help Fairfield and Litchfield Counties celebrate and forward its progress toward sustainability at these local Earth Day 2017 events.
Pratt Nature Center, New Milford: April 22
The Pratt Nature Center in New Milford will host its Earth Day 2017 celebrations on April 22 from 10am to 4pm. Visitors can have fun with the dunk tank and throw three balls to try and dunk some of the organization’s guests for $5. A kids’ mud run will take place at 11am while a 5K Dirt Dash starts at noon. There will be a mud pit sponsored by NVFD; Tonka toys and squishing mud are supplied but remember to bring extra clothes.
Attendees will get a chance to toast The Pratt Nature Center’s 50th anniversary with birthday cake. The event also includes food and music.
Newtown: April 22
Newtown’s 10th Annual Earth Day Festival will be April 22 from 10am to 4pm in front of Newtown Middle School. The day will feature live music (bands, singing and Taiko drumming), activities for children and adults, a multitude of vendors, food, and educational and nature exhibits. The annual Silent Auction will feature local and handcrafted items and services.
Proceeds from this event support green scholarships for Newtown High School graduates to pursue degrees in environmental fields.
For more information, visit Newtown Earth Day Festival on Facebook or NewtownEarthDay.org. Location: 11 Queen St, Newtown (in front of Newtown Middle School). See ad, page 26.
Woodbury: April 22
Woodbury Earth Day 2017 is a free event (rain or shine) that will be held on April 22 from 11am to 4pm at Hollow Park. The event features more than 100 vendors, live music, engaging activities, arts and crafts for kids, and some of the best food trucks around. Stop by activities include a live birds of prey presentation, yoga and nature walks throughout the day.
Vendors include local artisans, farmers and growers, nonprofit organizations and home improvement services. Food trucks include G-Zen 100% Vegan and Organic Restaurant/G-Monkey, Fryborg, Tipsy Cones LLC, Chet’s Italian Ice, Pizza to the People, Sonny’s Grinders and Raw Youniverse.
“We are proud to be an event that focuses on supporting our local economy while also protecting and improving the nature of our communities, our land and water, and ourselves,” says Carol Haskins, the Woodbury Earth Day chair.
Woodbury Earth Day is presented under the leadership of the Woodbury-based Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition with continued support from community volunteers, the Town of Woodbury and New Morning Market. Visitors coming to town for Woodbury Earth Day on April 22 are also encouraged to visit New Morning Market, where special activities in celebration of Earth Day will also be held.
For more information, visit WoodburyEarthDay.org. Location: Hollow Park, Hollow Rd, Woodbury. See ad, page 11.
Fairfield: April 30
A spring highlight for families and children, the Fairfield Earth Day Celebration will take place on April 30 from 10am to 4pm at the FTC Center in Fairfield Center. The event will feature games and crafts, live music, a “trashy fashion” show, vendors and experts on gardening and energy.
Now in its 20th year, the Fairfield Earth Day Celebration is a one-day event that shows families how to live healthier and save money (and the planet). Learning about a healthy lifestyle is fun too; there will be many kids’ activities and games, face painting, crafts and lots of music, including local talent such as Kristen Graves, Connecticut’s state troubadour.
Various discussions will explain how alternative energy—such as going solar or setting up a rooftop windmill—can save money. Moving on to “green thumbs”, master gardeners will instruct how to start a garden, a beehive, or keep a good compost pile. Experts from the Sierra Club and other local organizations will explain fracked gas, open spaces and the issues behind GMO foods. State and federal legislators will also speak about efforts to clean up the environment and improve public transportation.
Finally, reduce spending by bringing something worn with you; instead of ending up in the trash, your clothes and fabrics will be collected by Bay State Textiles.
For more information, visit FairfieldEarthDay.wordpress.com. Location: Fairfield Theater Company Center 70 Sanford St, Fairfield. See ad, page 35.
Wilton: May 7
The 7th Annual Wilton Go Green Festival, co-hosted by the Wilton Library, will be held at the town green and Wilton Library parking lot on May 7 from 11am to 4pm. The fun-filled family festival begins with a nature walk to Schenck’s Island. Other features include live music, a silent auction, a mobility/transportation area that includes a fire truck on display, over 80 interactive exhibitors, food, and the ever-popular Dog Parade at 2pm (no entry fee).
“The Wilton Go Green Festival is a wonderful event with interactive activities for people of all ages. Our goal is to make this a zero-waste event, and we’ll have recycling and composting stations set up in several locations,” says Wilton Go Green President Dana Gips.
New to the festival are five main areas of focus for Wilton residents. Building on the work of the How Green Could Wilton Be? symposium in November 2016 and the Community Forum on Sustainability in February 2017, Wilton Go Green will be sharing 14 community-wide initiatives in the areas of land, water, energy, food and materials management. These initiatives highlight the important and connected work that local organizations are doing to preserve Wilton’s rural character and carry out the vision to make Wilton the most environmentally sustainable town in Connecticut. Festival goers will have an opportunity to find out how they can get involved with the initiatives. A festival goal is to have 1 percent of “Wiltonians”, or 180 people, sign a sustainability pledge at the festival.
This year, the festival is co-chaired by Sara Curtis and Ted Stonbely. Sara Curtis is a resident of Wilton and Ted Stonbely is the director of admissions at The Montessori School on Whipple Road. One of the new activities added to this year’s festival will be a collaborative art project. All attendees are invited to participate as a gesture towards their commitment to making Wilton a more sustainable town. “Our goal is to hang it in a public arena after it is complete to keep our initiatives top of mind for our residents and neighbors,” says Stonbely.
For more information about the initiatives and/or to exhibit at the festival, contact Daphne Dixon at 203-536-4695 or [email protected].