Celebrate Sustainability on the Amherst Town Common

Amherst Sustainability Festival: April 26, 2014

The Amherst Farmers’ Market and Sustainability Festival takes place this Saturday, April 26th, on the Town Common. Pick up your starter plants and locally grown foods from the Market, and then head to the Common for a fabulous family-friendly festival featuring all things sustainable… including Hilltown Families! Stop by our tent where kids can plant seeds to take home with them while parents can learn about the mission of Hilltown Families.

With springtime comes an increase in our awareness of the natural world – as we plan our gardens and watch trees begin to leaf out, we’re reminded of how essential the earth is to us, and how important it is to live our lives in a way that ensures that our natural resources will be preserved for years to come. Celebrate springtime, sustainability, and all things green at the Amherst Sustainability Festival, an annual free community event that brings together local organizations and resources to promote local sustainability!

This year, the Amherst Sustainability Festival will be held on Saturday, April 26th, 2014, from 10am-4pm. Centered around the Amherst Town Common, the event includes booths from local sustainability-related organizations and vendors, live music and theater performances, demonstrations of skills and techniques, live animals to visit and learn about, local food, and lots of other exciting and educational events and activities for families. Early risers can begin their day of sustainability in the morning by visiting the Amherst Farmers’ Market, whose second market of the season will bring a wide variety of delicious, healthy, local foods to the Town Common from 7:30am-1:30pm.

Once you’ve stocked up on local foods, begin your festival adventure by watching Piti Theater Company’s performance of their original show, To Bee or Not to Bee. Touring both locally and internationally for the past few years, To Bee or Not to Bee teaches about the importance of pollinators in our food systems and promotes the creation of bee-friendly habitat. The performance is a part of Piti’s Bee Weeks, bee-promoting events that will take place throughout the spring and summer of this year. In addition to Piti’s performance, family favorites like Roger Ticknell, Iroko Nuevo, and Wishbone Zoe will grace the stage throughout the day.

Another topic that families can explore is landscape interpretation and, under the guidance of Mt. Tom Park Ranger Jim Terruso, folks of all ages can learn some basic tree identification! Using games and hands-on activities, Terruso will help families learn to examine leaf shape, leaf growth patterns, and other arboreal details in order to identify the trees around them. Tree ID events will take place at 11am and 1pm, and will begin at the Amherst Public Shade Tree Committee booth, which will be located nearest to Boltwood Avenue and Spring Street.

Other highlights of the festival include a chance to peruse artwork by local students (created as part of an Arbor Day poster contest), trolley tours of Amherst from 11am-3pm provided by local BID, and the Daffodil Chalk Walk, an event that brings local artists to downtown Amherst to transform the town’s sidewalks into fields of daffodils. Henry the Juggler will be providing comedic entertainment throughout the day, and kiddos can get their faces painted in spring-y style, too! Even Hilltown Families will be at the festival, promoting sustainability with a hands-on seed planting activity that will provide kids with a soon-to-be veggie to take home with them!

Finally, don’t forget to clean out your closets, dressers, and garage before leaving for the event – the Amherst Sustainability Festival will also feature a recycling drive to collect used clothing and accessories, white styrofoam packing bricks, and plastic wood pellet bags. Don’t miss this opportunity to recycle your items – styrofoam and pellet bags can be very difficult to recycle normally!

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