Hooray for Earth Day (Apr. 20 and other dates)

April 16, 2008

Earth Day this year has a sense of urgency, doesn’t it? Maybe it’s the whole oil thing, or food prices going up, but it feels as if people really do want to make a difference right now. As I scrolled down the list of events this month at the St. Louis Earth Day homepage, I wished I could write about each of them — plays, lectures, clean-ups, art shows, vendor fairs — and I learned a bit just by reading the descriptions. (Did you know athletic shoes can be recycled? I didn’t either.)

The main festival takes place in Forest Park on Sunday (Apr. 20) in the Muny grounds from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Its musical and cultural offerings (on two stages) are unique — many musical, theater and dance groups I’ve never heard of, with themes of stewardship and harmony and conservation. The list of vendors and info booths is exceptionally long — you will definitely need to find sustenance at the food stands!

If you have electronics sitting around that need recycling, I highly encourage you to take advantage of the collection point set up at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park (get info on the location here). Earlier this year I sent the hubby out with a load of old monitors and stuff, and he came back with a full report on the scariness of the metal-recycling district over on the North St. Louis waterfront.

And if you’re wisely conserving fuel this year, be aware that there are Earth Day events in many part of the metro area — St. Charles has a great one on Friday; Carondelet Park has one Saturday; Hazelwood and Chesterfield have events the following weekend (Apr. 26).

But back to the main festival. I had been debating bringing the kids (it’s hard to ask serious questions of vendors when you’ve got to keep one eye and half your brain focused on a 2-year-old) but then I saw the list of youth activities (stream table, recycled art station, Science Center MySci van, oil-to-biofuel demo). Maybe, I thought. A few days later I read that the Gateway Kite Club is partnering with the Saint Louis Art Museum for a demonstration and kite-making area on Art Hill. The boys will definitely get into that, I thought. And then I realized that simply exposing them to the festival atmosphere and explaining why all the people had gathered would leave an impression.


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