Greening the LeMoyne Chain of Parks Art Festival, April 27-28, 2019
This year was our fourth year to "green" the LeMoyne Chain of Parks Art Festival - and it was our most successful year yet. More people visited our exhibits than ever before and more people were eager to talk about sustainability, our environment, the over-consumption and dangers of plastics and plastic waste, and more. Clearly, the public is becoming more aware and more concerned about what's happening in our world. Which is a really good thing because it's going to take the efforts of us all to make a difference.
At the same time, many people expressed concern about recycling - why it's different in different cities, why there are limitations on what can be recycled, and what are the recycling options now that China is accepting less recycling materials. Wish we could convert that recycling concern into changing behaviors to reduce the amount of plastics and packaging that we take into our homes and our lives! We clearly have much more work to do.
An exciting new addition this year was an electric car (EV) exhibit. We had a rotating series of EV (fully electric) and PHEV (plug-in-hybrid-electric) vehicles on display throughout the weekend that created a lot of interest, thanks to Steve Urse for his coordination and promotion. Few dealerships in our area carry electric vehicles, so every opportunity we have to showcase electric vehicles is important for exposure, education, and inspiration. The more we can do to create interest and educate the public by having EV car owners showcase their vehicles, the greater the likelihood that demand will result in more supply. Transportation is the biggest single contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and we must solve the transportation impact if we have any hope to halt climate change.
This year we included an exhibit to demonstrate raised bed "square foot" gardening and composting. Board members Lizette Kelly and Carrie Litherland engaged people in how to grow a lot in a small space and to show how even apartment dwellers can garden and compost. This was a hugely popular new addition to this year's exhibits. It attracted a lot of attention, questions, and discussion.
Our Water Bottle Monster roamed the festival again this year, led by board member Becky Parsons' team. We're glad that each year more and more people readily say they no longer buy bottle water. And we're especially glad to let people know about the City of Tallahassee's portable Water Wagon with bottle refill stations that was set up again this year in the food truck area. We think progress is being made, until we visit the grocery store and see carts loaded up with bottled water! Click HERE to see how we are promoting the demise of bottled water - and help us pass the word about the environmental, health, and economic impact of single-use plastics!
Our award-winning Rags2Bags ladies have become quite famous and were on hand again this year sewing and giving away reusable bags made from donated fabric. Learn more HERE about them and about the thousands of bags they've made and given away with a sustainability message tucked inside. If our state won't allow bans on plastic bags, we will just keep on inspiring people to shop with their own reusable bags instead. This year our R2B team added a "Spin to Win" fun activity with prizes that kids loved. They have fun and would love to have you join them - no sewing experience required!
Many thanks to our hard working executive director Jim Davis, and our board and committee members who participated in the planning and were involved all weekend, and to the dozens of volunteers who helped to educate festival visitors about proper recycling and waste disposal.