Wilton Go Green Hosts 2nd Annual Festival in Celebration of Earth Day

WILTON, CT, April 10, 2011  – A giant Earth Balloon, an exclusive preview of the latest electric cars, and the official launch of the Neighbor- to – Neighbor Energy Challenge are just some of the highlights of the second annual Wilton Go Green Festival slated for Sunday, May 1 at the Town Green from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“Last year, we had close to 1,000 people visit our first Festival,” said Debbie Hunsberger, Wilton Go Green board member and co-chair of the event.  “This year we’ll have a wide range of exhibitors from a large solar panel company to small clubs founded by youngsters promoting clean energy options.” Click here to view a list of current exhibitors.

“We’re pleased to announce the official launch of Wilton’s Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge, an exciting new program taking place throughout Connecticut to help residents take practical steps to increase their energy efficiency and save money on their energy bills,” said Jana Bertkau, co-chair of the Festival and vice president of Wilton Go Green, Inc.  The ceremony will take place at 2:30 p.m. in Deloitte’s Eco Café – Serving Fresh Ideas.”

Deloitte Eco-Cafe Guest Speaker Schedule

11:00 open

11:30 Energy Audit cheerleaders Personal experiences with energy audits

12:00 Mariana Marchese from Red Bee Apiary HONEYBEE Lessons from an Accidental Beekeeper

12:30 Front Yard Coop from Running Duck Farm Learn about raising chickens in your back yard

1:00 Neale Godfrey New York Times #1 Best Selling author, Neale Godfrey, will discuss her latest program, ECO-Effect®:  The Greening of Money.

2:00 Analiese Paik Resources for local and sustainably grown and harvested food

2:30 Neighbor to Neighbor Kick off  Come hear about the initiative to reduce energy by 20% in over 600 Wilton Households

3:00 Woodcock  Come hear about and meet local animals  you might see in your backyard

3:30 Karen Stanley and George Geller greening your own home – smart things you can do to save $$s

“By reducing their individual home energy use, residents will help Wilton reach its goal of having 10 percent of the community lower its energy use by 20 percent, “ said Becky Bunnell, President of Wilton Go Green, Inc. “If our town reaches its goal, we could win valuable incentives such as solar-powered streetlights and recharging stations for electric cars.  The first step, according to Ms. Bunnell is to sign up for a home energy solutions (HES) visit, an in-home energy assessment program.  For a limited time, residents can get a HES visit for just $75, which is valued at $750.   The second step is for homeowners to learn how further energy improvements can be accomplished through rebates and financial incentives.

This year’s main attraction is a giant Earth Balloon, a 20 –foot diameter inflatable globe made of a high-resolution satellite image.  A group of 25 people enter the Balloon through a zipper in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, where they can see the world in its entirety.  Ongoing presentations on environmental issues, such as climate change and sustainability, will be given every 15 minutes.  Free tickets will be available at the library.

New York Times best-selling author and financial expert Neale Godfrey will discuss her new book, “Eco Effect – The Greening of Money,” as part of an ongoing series of talks on sustainability sponsored by Deloitte at 1 p.m. in the Eco Café. Analiese Paik, Founder & Editor of the FairfieldGreenFoodGuide.com will be discussing the impact our food choices make on the health of the planet and the wide variety of local-sustainable food resources available to Fairfield County residents.

The Festival will kick off with several Sound Cyclists bike races of varying levels at 8:15 a.m. at the Bright Horizons parking lot.   To register please visit the library’s website at www.wiltonlibrary.org.   Click on events, date, and register for a full list of bike rides.  The Woodcock Nature Center will sponsor its annual Where the Wild Things Are 5K Run at 9 a.m. and a Kids Fun Run at 8:30 a.m. at the Nature Center.  To register, please go to www.WoodcockNatureCenter. Wilton High School students will unveil their unique sculptures made of recycled materials in a special art exhibit in front of Bank of America, while Wilton’s Arbor Day will be celebrated in the library’s Rimer Room at 11:30 a.m.

More food options will be available this year, including Skinny Pines Pizza and Ancona’s Market, which will offer free grass-fed beef tastings and a grilled beef luncheon menu.  The Kenn Morr Band will perform their original songs from 11:30 a.m to 1 p.m. followed by Arthur Lipner’s eclectic Wilton Steel Band from 2-4 p.m.

For wildlife enthusiasts, the dynamic teaching duo of Jim Lucey of Wilton High School (WHS) and Dave Havens of St. Luke’s School will lead a guided tour of the Norwalk River across from WHS at 3 p.m.  Wading boots and nets will be provided and collected specimens will be examined by microscope at the High School following the tour.  Please register in advance at www.wiltonlibrary.org. America’s best-known forager “Wildman” Steve Brill will talk about edible and medicinal wild plants and mushrooms at Millstone Farm’s booth from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

A silent auction featuring a chance to win a free summer membership at the Wilton Y (valued at $750) and other exciting prizes will run from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. Participant s who have walked all of Wilton’s trails will have a chance to win a free Cannondale bike at a special drawing.

The Earth Balloon is funded by the Wilton Library and the Betsy and Jesse Fink Foundation for Wilton Library’s Environmental Initiative.  The Wilton Go Green Festival has been underwritten by a $2,000 grant from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund through the Community Innovation Grants Program.  Major sponsors for the Festival include Deloitte, Outdoor Sports, Chevrolet –Buick of Wilton, and City Carting  (Corporate sponsors); and Nod Hill Soap and People’s United Bank (Silver sponsors).    Partners for the Wilton Go Green Festival include the Wilton Library, 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 # 152, the Wilton Rotary Club, and the Fairfield Green Food Guide.  For further information about how to become a volunteer or sponsor at the Wilton Go Green Festival, please visit www.wiltongogreen.org.

About Wilton Go Green

Wilton Go Green is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Our mission is to engage the community in initiatives that advance a culture of conservation and educate residents, schools and businesses about best practices in building, energy, food, transportation and waste/recycling to drive responsible stewardship of air, land, water, wildlife and other natural resources; thereby promoting and supporting efforts by the Town of Wilton and other Wilton organizations to achieve environmental sustainability. Wilton Go Green is governed by a board comprised of 15 community volunteers. For additional information about the organization and programs, visit www.wiltongogreen.org.

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