~ The following first appeared in The Floyd Press newspaper on May 8, 2014 with a larger selection of photos.
The Partnership for Floyd held its annual Earth Day Celebration at the Floyd Ecovillage on Saturday. The sunny warm weather was a perfect backdrop for nature hikes, scavenger hunts and much more. Organizers estimated that turnout was twice as good as last year’s event. “There was good energy, good participation and a diversity of people attending,” said EcoVillage host and Partnership member Jack Wall. Wall said that the planning of the event was well shared by Partnership for Floyd members and that new and skilled members have recently joined the Partnership, bringing new energy and ideas to it.
There was something for everyone on the day’s list of activities. About 20 organizations were represented at the free educational event.
Here, Skip King of Connections Youth Camp in Pilot talks with Jeff Walker about upcoming summer camp programs that combine outdoor nature awareness and mindfulness through TaekwonDo, a martial arts practice.
Mary Wiley holds on to her free tree sapling from the Virginia Department of Forestry as she checks out some vegetable starts at the Masters Gardeners’ table on the back deck of the EcoVillage’s Village Center.
Gretta Sazonov plays with a ribbon on her sister Emma Kate’s garden hat. Decorating newspaper garden hats was one of the children’s eco-craft activities offered. Other kid activities included a big bouncy caterpillar to run through, kite making, seed planting and fairy house building. Gretta and Emma Kate are the daughters of Greg and Robyn Sazonov of Happy Rooster Farm in Pilot.
Children also received a Partnership for Floyd Eco-field Guide filled with games and activities. This year’s cover design was done by Blue Mountain High School student Madeline Emmett.
Julia Berger, a Partnership for Floyd and SustainFloyd member, holds up a handbag from the Upcycling Expo table. The bags and the octopus pictured were woven by Dede McGrath from plastic bags. Berger introduced a children’s Toy Swap station at this year’s Earth Day event.
Blue Mountain High School student Zech Brown and home-schooler Jerrin Fisher model plastic bag costumes made by Blue Mountain Elementary School students as part of their campaign to promote deposits on plastic bag use. The students would like to see the proceeds from deposit money go to education, said BMS teacher Brien Egan.
The line to purchase lunch in the Conversation Café extended out into the lobby. Menu items incorporated locally produced food and included this whimsical fruit salad.
Featured guest Pat Forman gave an informative presentation on keeping small flocks of chickens. Foreman has written several books on the subject. Other speakers included Barbara Pleasant, organic gardening writer for Mother Earth News, who talked about Floyd’s Alternative Food Economy; Lydeana Martin, who spoke on The State of Floyd County Water; and Floyd County High AG teacher Joe Tesaro, who updated attendees on the school’s Farm Program.