This sunday, April 26th, the Muny Grounds in Forest Park held the 26th annual Earth Day Festival. The festival is always free to the public, and lasts all day. Attending it is a learning opportunity as well as a celebration, the theme being, “Earth Day Every Day…for Everyone!” Executive Director Cassandra P. Hage says, “Attendance at the Earth Day Festival fluctuates from year to year, with the weather being a big contributing factor. Currently, we anticipate 30-40,000 attendees. Our Earth Day Festival has been recognized by Earth Day Network as one of the top three largest Earth Day celebrations in the country.”
The festival activities this year included yoga, mural painting on a metro bus, a pet adoption, rock climbing wall, and three stages of local talent. Sustainable dining was also available in the Cafe. Hage says, “We have 250 businesses, non-profit organizations, schools, farmers, and artists participating in this event – which is a testament to the importance of sustainability in our community. Beyond size, I think it is important that people recognize this as “the” place to go to learn about environmental issues and organizations.”
Information and resources available were almost overwhelming. Every volunteer at every booth, center, or even food truck happily answer questions and provide a lot of insight on what they’re representing and what you would like to see or learn. All who attend are guaranteed to leave educated, interested, and maybe even shocked.
Many aspects of the festival catered toward youth, because they are the foundation for the future. Hage says, “The best way to secure a promising future for yourself is to be an active participant through your decision making. There are so many things individuals can do to positively contribute to their community and the broader community of living things – you don’t have to do them all! Do what fits for you.” It is important for us as high schoolers to make good decisions and educate ourselves, and for parents out there to be an example for their children because we have a big future ahead of us.
Although this year’s festival is over, there are still ways for everyone to help out, such as the hundreds of other non-profits in St. Louis working on social and environmental causes, and Recycling On the Go at other events. Hage says, “We are also looking for people to help us grow our social media reach and to create a documentary on Earth Day in St. Louis.” More details about the organization and all of their events are available at http://www.stlouisearthday.org.