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Earth Festival 2011 Focus is on “Three R’s” of Waste Management

March 8, 2011

Earth Festival 2011 Focus is on “Three R’s” of Waste Management

MILFORD – “Reduce, reuse, recycle” is the underlying theme of Earth Festival 2011, set for Saturday, April 9 at Milford Central School. In keeping with the event’s earth-friendly theme, a number of items will be collected for recycling and reuse this year. Event organizers invite attendees to drop off Styrofoam (white only), bubble wrap, empty inkjet cartridges, old cell phones, prom dresses, unwanted videotapes and CDs, and used nylon monofilament fishing line at no charge.

Edison Computers will be on hand for an electronics collection (some fees will apply), and footwear of all kinds will be accepted for a donation of $1 per pair. Athletic shoes and sneakers will be recycled as part of Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe program, shipped to the Nike factory in Tennessee to be re-ground into Nike Grind Foam, a raw material made from recycled athletic shoes collected through the Reuse-A-Shoe program, manufacturing scrap, and shoes with manufacturing flaws. Other gently worn footwear – dress shoes, sandals, pumps, heels, work boots, cleats, dance shoes and flip flops – will be donated to the Soles4Souls Program, which has given away nearly 12 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes in more than 125 countries since 2005.

“Waste, and the way we handle it, has a big impact on our water, land, and air. Practicing the three R’s of waste management (reduce, reuse, recycle) is important for a healthy environment,” said Martha Clarvoe, special projects manager for Otsego County Conservation Association. “We hope these collections will bring more people to Earth Festival than ever before. There’s a lot of good information to be had, and it’s a fun event for the whole family.”

Immediately following Earth Festival, the Milford Central School Education Foundation, Inc. will sponsor its second “recycled fashion” show (by ticket only, $10 per person or $60.00 for a table of eight). Students and adults are invited to showcase wearable art they made or embellished themselves with recycled and waste materials in the “Go Green” Fashion Show – entries are $5.00 each, with prizes to be awarded in categories including accessories, casual wear, formal wear and recycled “treasure.” For more information and an entry form, or to purchase tickets, call Lori Henry or Lorre Gregory at (607) 286-7721, extension 8408.

“Last year the show was a huge success, raising more than $3,000 to support educational programs,” said Lorre Gregory, Milford Central School grant writer/media specialist. “The three R’s were put to the test. From a coffee filter shirt to a seltzer can tie, students and adults used their imagination to create unique and unusual designs while helping Milford go a little greener.”

The EcoArt/Trendy Trash contest returns to Earth Festival this year as well. This trash-to-treasure challenge to create something practical or artistic from items that have outlived their original purpose is open at no charge to students, with a $5.00 fee for adults. Visit www.occainfo.org for an entry form, or call (607) 547-4488 to learn more.

“Students from Cherry Valley, Cooperstown and Milford schools have already registered to compete in the EcoArt/Trendy Trash contest this year,” said Darla M. Youngs, OCCA administrative director. “In past years, contest participants from across the county cleverly used cast-off items such as old furniture, kitchen utensils, plastic containers, cardboard, glass and fabric to craft art from trash, transforming discarded materials to things of beauty

and new purpose. We’re looking forward to more of the same this April.”

Earth Festival will also mark the unveiling of the BigFoot Baler by the Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District. This baler, provided through the Recycling of Agricultural Plastics Program, will allow local farmers to properly dispose of plastic used for bale wrap, bunker silo covers, and silage bags, and enable horticulturists to recycle plastic from greenhouses.

“We see a lot of plastic in the countryside and we know a lot of farmers who want a responsible way of dealing with it from year to year,” said SWCD Manager Scott Fickbohm. “We’re hoping this new baler and recycling program will help those farmers with waste management, and get a lot of that material out of the county and into useful products.”

In its Otsego County debut, the ChicoBag™ Bag Monster® will educate this year’s Earth Festival attendees about the impact single-use plastic bags have on our environment. These flighty bags end up in trees, along roadsides and washed up on sea shores. Sponsored by OCCA, the Bag Monster® costume is made with 500 plastic bags, the average amount an American uses in one year.

Other highlights include a pre-festival bird walk at Robert V. Riddell State Park, the launch of a countywide farmers’ market cookbook, and children’s activities led by MCS students. Cooperstown Farmers’ Market vendors will be on hand selling fresh spring flowers, a variety of flavored fresh sprouts and micro greens, organic meats, cheeses, baked goods, and crafts, and CADE (Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship) will serve up beef burgers from Sunset View Farm, Milford, and other local foods.

Now in its sixth year, Earth Festival is an environmentally-focused, interactive event – free and open to the public – featuring exhibits, activities, vendors and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. Earth Festival 2011 is sponsored by Otsego County Conservation Association (OCCA) and Wildlife Learning Company. To register as an exhibitor or vendor, visit admin.

Earth Festival 2011:

• Traditional information and vendor fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Exhibitors and vendors, to date: Bath Fitter, Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship, Cooperstown Farmers’ Market, Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society, Equity Energy, Friends of Glimmerglass State Park, Great Brook Solar NRG, Hanford Mills Museum, Natural Resources Conservation Services, Otsego County Conservation Association, Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District, Otsego Lake Association, Otsego Land Trust, Otsego Regional Cycling Advocates, Otsego 2000, Pine Lake Institute for Environmental and Sustainability Studies, United Methodist Women’s Green Team, Wildlife Learning Company.

• “Pottery for Education” Silent Auction by MEF

• EcoArt/Trendy Trash contest

• Recycling collection of Styrofoam (clean, white only), bubble wrap, empty inkjet cartridges, old cell phones, unwanted videotapes and CDs, and used nylon monofilament fishing line at no charge

• Electronics collection by Edison Computers (some fees apply)

• Nike Reuse-A-Shoe athletic shoe/sneaker collection ($1 donation per pair)

• Soles4Souls shoe collection ($1 donation per pair)

• Prom dress collection

• Environmental art installation by Tony Murray, sponsored by Cooperstown Art Association, OCCA and Earth Festival 2011

• Go Green! Fashion Show by MEF (ticket only)

• Introduction of BigFoot agricultural plastics baler

• Bag Monster® by ChicoBag™, sponsored by OCCA

• Unveiling of countywide farmers’ market cookbook

• “Sawdust clay” activity for kids with Hanford Mills Museum

• Pre-festival bird walk sponsored by DOAS and OCCA

Dave Kiehm of Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society will lead a bird walk in the Robert V. Riddell State Park as part of Earth Festival. Participants should meet in the school parking lot at 8 a.m. Call (607) 286-9222 or e-mail dave.

• Tree identification workshop by MCS

Before heading inside to Earth Festival, join local naturalist and Milford Central School teacher Eamonn Hinchey at 9 a.m. for a short walk into the school’s forest property. This 15-acre plot is full of many different flora just waiting to be discussed. The hike will be suitable for all ages – dress for the weather.

• Children’s activities led by Milford Central School students

Join the Milford Environmental Club from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for fun activities including plant potting, worm binning, recycled mask making and more.

• On-site maple sugar production demonstration by MCS

At 1 p.m., outside the main door to the school, learn backyard sugaring basics and enjoy the taste of pure New York maple syrup. This demonstration should be of interest to anyone who has ever considered making their own maple syrup or who supports this local treasure. This region of North America is the only place in the world that Acer saccharum (sugar maple) calls home, so if you haven’t met yet, this is the time!

• Local beef burgers and other local food sold by CADE

As festival goers work up an appetite, they can look forward to several local food items at the CADE booth. CADE will serve up beef burgers from Sunset View Farm, as well as quiche and soup from Lucky Dog Farm and Cafe. Lucky Dog Farm, a vendor at the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market, is a certified organic farm in Delaware County where they have a cafe that serves local dishes. Sunset View Farm is located in the Town of Milford, just five miles up the road from the school.

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