As event MC Dr Aaron Coopersmith said at the April 23 Newtown Earth Day Festival: “We’re back.”
For roughly six hours on Saturday, the front yard at Newtown High School was filled with tents, vendors, families, and a few animals—all celebrating the global holiday that actually falls on April 22.
As previously announced in New Town BeeHosted by a group of concerned citizens, this annual outdoor event is designed to highlight Newtown’s abundant natural resources and help attendees learn how to be a little greener. Events include children’s activities, live music, animal shows, drinks, vendors, silent auctions and the Newtown Lions Club’s Lose the Litter initiative. Newtown Lions Club members also sold Great Pootatuck Duck Race and 2022 Mustang raffle tickets at the event.
A quick scan of the booth at noon has children building birdhouses for the Eastern Bluebird, flowerpots, Garden Club of Newtown members distributing tree saplings, polar bears in the Biodiversity Center tent welcoming guests, crowds roaming between tents, and laughter. and greetings can be heard.
As recently announced by Governor Ned Lamont, this year marks the 52nd Earth Day, which underscores the importance of reducing carbon emissions from the transportation sector to combat the climate crisis, improve air quality, improve health, and improve the quality of life for people. resident.
In December 2021, Lamont signed an executive climate order directing the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT), the Department of Environmental Energy Protection (DEEP), and all other state agencies to take meaningful action to reduce carbon emissions.
“The State of Connecticut is an example of how government can continue to be innovative and effective while also being more environmentally friendly,” Lamont said in a recent release. “I am proud that our government is taking the lead and state agencies are making significant progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We are more effective when we work together to reduce our carbon footprint and reduce our impact on climate change.”
Transportation remains Connecticut’s single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the release.
Under the governor’s executive order, CTDOT can no longer purchase or use state funds to purchase diesel buses after 2023 and must create a roadmap to electrify the state’s bus fleet by 2035. CTDOT now has ten battery electric buses on the road, with two more coming soon, and nearly 50 other orders.
The state agency also has 30 free public electric vehicle charging stations at its Newington headquarters. In addition, CTDOT has awarded 104 Community Connectivity Grant Program awards totaling more than $38 million to communities across the state. The governor’s budget includes more funds for the program.
The Newtown Earth Day Festival marks its 12th year in 2022.
While music was playing and the attendees were clearly having a lot of fun, Coopersmith said the event brought awareness of environmental action and awareness especially to people in Newtown.
Vendors at the event, as listed on newtownearthday.org, include Associated Refuse, Backyard Beekeeper Association, Audubon Bent of the River Center, Birds of Prey, BT Phantasmagoria, Center for Biodiversity, Cullens Inc. Youth Association, Edmond Town Hall, Endurvinna , EverWonder Children’s Museum, Fair Food Project, Freedom Farm Animal Sanctuary, Scout Squad 22, Holmes Fine Park, Gas Iroquois, Lions Club Duck Race, My Place Restaurant, Newtown Arts Festival, New Town Conservation Commission, New Town Ecumenical Labor Camp Waiter , Forest Association New Town, New Town Greenery, New Town Parks and Recreation, NHS Environment Club, Popowich Chiropractic, Protect Our Pollinators, Department of Public Works, Renewal by Andersen, Renewal By Anderson, Send Smile Cards & Home Decor, and Newtown Gardens Club .
Newtown Earth Day is also a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. A portion of the proceeds from the festival was donated to the Newtown Scholarship Association, earmarked for students majoring in eco-studies, according to an announcement for the event.
For additional information about the event, see the website newtownearthday.org.
Education Editor Eliza Hallabeck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The organizers of the 2022 Newtown Earth Day Festival stood together at the event. From left are Paul Lundquist, Bill Buchler, Aaron Coopersmith, Rob Kaiser, Andy Ashla, Brad Paynter, and Dan Holmes. —Bee Photo, Hallabeck
Julia Kaiser found her Lavender bunny a place to snack on in the grass at the April 23 Newtown Earth Day Festival, held on the front lawn of Newtown High School.
The Maruschaks—from left Lucy, dad Mark, dog Winnie, mom Danielle, and Ryan—smile together at the Newtown Earth Day Festival.
The Cortina family—father Frank, mother Hannah, and daughter Estelle—meet “polar bears” from the Jessica Kurose Center for Biodiversity at the Newtown Earth Day Festival.
London Mehmeti holds a flower she planted in a pot at the Garden Club of Newtown tent at the Newtown Earth Day Festival.
Luna Mehmeti plants flowers in pots at the Garden Club of Newtown tent at the Newtown Earth Day Festival with mother Tatiana Mehmeti watching.
Ava Musella shows off a freshly made headband from the Protect Our Pollinators (POP) tent at the Newtown Earth Day Festival, with mother Amy Musella.
Lisa Miskella of Freedom Farm Animal Sanctuary holds Hollis, a rescued Angora rabbit, at the Newtown Earth Day Festival.
Newtown High School front yard view with the 2022 Newtown Earth Day Festival in progress.