Wow! It rained cats and dogs on Saturday, but that didn't deter environmentalists and others interested in all things "green" from attending the Grey to Green Festival in Wick Park on Youngstown's north side. Due to the rain, the festival was set up under tents. There,vendors and exhibitors provided information on everything from recycling to solar power.
Holly Burnett and her crew were there with Enviroscape,a three dimensional model of a community that is designed to show how various pollutants end up in our water. There was also a really cool mineral mine where you could mine for your own gems and receive information the one you dug up. I have to admit I mined for quite a few gems and finally had to force myself to move on to other exhibits and vendors. They all were great, and the colorful wares of the vendors certainly added a bright spot to the very grey day.
For me, the greatest thing about the festival are the relationships that were forged during the planning stage. The festival must become an annual one, if for no other reason than I'd miss everybody too much if we didn't organize another event. This forging of relationships carried over to the festival itself as vendors and exhibitors had an opportunity to share experiences, and get to know one another. Generally, I think everyone had a good time in spite of the rain. I know that Dora did!
The greatest achievement of the festival was that it increased awareness of global climate issues and Youngstown's Mayor Jay Williams was on hand to sign the U.S. Mayor's Climate Protection Agreement.
In addition to it's goal of increasing awareness of global climate issues, the Grey to Green Festival also served as a means of increasing awareness of Youngstown's 2010Plan,its grey to green component, and the Wick Park Revitalization project. I believe the festival achieved its goals. Many people who had never been to Wick Park or the surrounding neighborhood came out to the festival. Phil Kidd, of Defend Youngstown, said he gave several tours of the area to interested folks. It is this type of outreach that is needed to change the incorrect perceptions that many have of Youngstown.
I would also like to thank the many volunteers who came out in the rain to help make the festival a reality. I would also like to thank the area journalists and my blogger friends who helped get the word out about the festival.
Valley 24 and another Valley24.com article here.
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