Wilton Celebrates Earth Day with Go Green Festival



CONTACT:  Becky Bunnell (203) 550-6540 or Jana Bertkau (203) 762-2993


WILTON, CT., April 12, 2010 – Area residents will catch a sneak preview of the hip new electric car, the Tesla Roadster popularized by George Clooney, and a biodiesel car designed and converted by a group of Wilton High School students.  They will also learn how they can make simple changes in their lives to lead more sustainable, energy-efficient lives at Wilton’s first Go Green Festival on Sunday, May 2 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The town-wide energy fair featuring over 60 exhibits, lectures and family activities will take place at the Wilton Library and other off-site locations including the Woodcock Nature Center, Bright Horizons, and the Norwalk River.

Festival highlights will range from the serious to the frivolous, including renowned author Alex MacLean’s talk on climate change and Wilton High School Science Teacher Jim Lucey’s guided tour through the Norwalk River.  For Wilton’s conservationists an important milestone will be recognized when the National Arbor Foundation recognizes Wilton as a Tree City, USA in a special awards ceremony in the library. On a lighter note, the Green Gal sing-a-long show and the Caribbean Cruisers Calypso featuring Wiltonian Arthur Lipner will entertain adults and children alike with their original songs and recycled instruments. Kids will also learn about waste and recycling from the cradle to the grave at the fun, interactive Garbage Museum exhibit.

“Our goal is to offer a fun, family day to learn about energy conservation and sustainable living,” said Becky Bunnell, co-chair of the Festival. “But we do want to encourage folks to take the Wilton Energy Commission’s Go Green Pledge, which is to make at least three environmentally responsible choices over the next year to preserve, protect, and promote a sustainable future.” These changes may include using energy- efficient lighting, recycling more, signing up for clean energy options at www.CTCleanEnergyOptions.com, conserving water, using energy-efficient transportation, and minimizing energy.  Residents also have a chance to earn a free energy audit (valued at $75), which includes a complementary three-hour evaluation from New England Smart Energy (worth $750) when they visit the Wilton Energy Commission booth and officially become a “green” home.

“The response from the community to our first town-wide green festival has been truly overwhelming,” said fellow chairwoman Jana Bertkau. ” Our Wilton Go Green committee has worked hard to try and offer something for everyone, ranging from exhibits and talks on sustainable architecture and alternative energy sources to tips on organic gardening and composting.  And for the more active families, we have a stroller derby, a bike ride, a 5K race, and a yoga class.”

Keynote speaker Alex MacLean will show his aerial photos and images from his recent book, “Over: The American Landscape at the Tipping Point,” in the library at 1 p.m. This pilot and photographer will share his insight on how climate change has affected the American landscape. Ongoing library discussions include earth stories for children, energy-efficient building solutions, the future of bike paths in Fairfield County, and myths and facts regarding Wilton’s waste and recycling program. Other topics on transportation, watershed, food and land management will also be explored.

The National Arbor Day Foundation will officially designate Wilton as a Tree City, USA at 11 a.m. in the library. “This award is a two- year culmination of the Wilton Tree Committee’s work to develop a Wilton Center Tree plan and establish a tree ordinance for the management of trees on public land,” said Paula Byrdy, a committee member.   Attendees will also have a chance to win a tree donated by Nick Lee of Lee Horticultural Services, Ltd.

“Last summer the Wilton Energy Commission (WEC) considered the benefits of a town-wide energy fair,” said Dona Pratt, chair of the WEC. “The original concept was to expand the Earth Day observance into an event that reflected the Commission’s mission: to advise the town and its residents on ways to reduce energy usage while promoting the use of alternative and sustainable forms of energy. And we wanted it to be a fun day for residents and businesses.  I’m thrilled to say that this inaugural Festival has more than exceeded our expectations.”

Wilton’s Go Green Festival is sponsored by the Wilton Energy Commission in partnership with the Wilton Library, as well as Ambler Farm, Wilton Conservation Commission, Wilton Family Y, the Wilton Garden Club, Wilton Public Schools, the Woodcock Nature Center, the Wilton Clergy Association, Canon Grange, and the Wilton Rotary Club.   Gold sponsors for the Festival include Alteris Renewables, Becky and Doug Bunnell, Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, Deloitte & Touche, Fourth Wall Ventures, and Outdoor Sports.

WGGF – From Health Foods to Whole Foods Panel Discussion

Sunday May 2, 201012:00 PM to 12:45 PM

Presidents’ Room

Locally raised food is evolving quickly from a niche category to a mainstream nutritional option. One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to obtain local food is to grow your own. But as growers and vendors gear up to meet growing local demand, buying local food is becoming increasingly easy. Still, for many, it’s not always easy to get to places that sell local food — or to afford it. Our panel will take a practical look at the best ways to obtain local food, and at efforts to provide access to it for the well-being of all.

Panelists include:

Jade Hobson and JoAnn Overton (Wilton-based organic gardeners)

Analiese Paik (founder and editor of the FairfieldGreenFoodGuide.com)

Joe Ancona (Ancona’s Market, Ridgefield)

Wholesome Wave Charitable Foundation (based in Westport and founded by Michel Nischan).

No charge. Registration suggested. To register, please call 203-762-3950 or visit www.wiltonlibrary.org/events. Sponsored by the Wilton Go Green Festival at Wilton Library, 137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton.

For a complete schedule of library talks and events, visit www.wiltongogreenfestival.com.

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