Explore, Connect, Act at the 11th annual GreenFest

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April 3, 2018             
Media Contacts:
Mark Miller, Administrator, Office of Public Information, 410-313-2022 
Alan Wilcom, Bureau of Environmental Services, 410-313-6444

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Government will host its 11th annual GreenFest on Saturday, April 21 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Howard Community College’s (HCC) Burrill Galleria, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia. This free event offers something for all ages, featuring exhibits, demonstrations, workshops, outdoor activities and practical tips for easy ways to “green” your home, workplace and lifestyle. 

As Howard County’s largest annual celebration of Earth Day, the event aims to connect residents with the resources that our local businesses, nonprofits and government provide to help anyone be a good steward of the environment. This year’s theme, “Explore, Connect, Act” offers attendees the opportunity to become more actively engaged in their local environment and community.

GreenFest 2018 will host approximately 75 vendors, including solar companies, environmental nonprofits and government agencies, and the popular native plant sale. There will be informational workshops on topics such as attracting backyard butterflies, Northern Snakehead fish in Maryland, in-home energy saving strategies, keeping chickens in your backyard, composting, rain barrels, geocaching and more. Safe Skies Maryland will also be onsite to raise awareness about the challenges our migratory and resident birds face when encountering glass façade structures, and offer simple practices residents can do to help reduce the threat of collisions. Attendees can also learn about local wildlife, with live reptiles on hand, or their watershed and how they can identify pollution, or even attend a scheduled chainsaw carving demonstration. 

Across the Quad in Duncan Hall, residents can attend a special seminar at 12:30 p.m. with a local entrepreneur, Evan Lutz. CEO and Co-Founder of Hungry Harvest, Lutz will discuss the growing problem of food waste and what our community can do to solve this widespread issue. Immediately following Lutz’s seminar, the Howard County Recycling Division will honor local businesses and community organizations by presenting its inaugural “Business Recycling and Waste Reduction” and “Green Community Leadership” awards. 

Back by popular demand is the FREE shredding event, where residents can shred up to three bags or boxes of paper documents per person from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (or until the trucks are full) in Parking Lot B. 

GreenFest will also feature opportunities for attendees to donate used items to help others. GreenDrop will be collecting items for reuse, such as electronics, toys, shoes, clothes, kitchenware and games. A food drive to benefit HCC’s food pantry, which assists students in need, will also be held. Special collections for eyeglasses, cell phones, binoculars and worn out denim jeans will also be available.

Back again this year is the Repair Café hosted by Transition Howard County. Visitors can bring in broken items from home, such as toasters, lamps, clothes, bicycles, toys or electronics. Volunteer repair specialists will evaluate the items and fix as many as they can for free, and can also provide advice about items too large to bring along.

Attendees are encouraged to think green with their means of transportation to this year’s event. Consider walking, carpooling, biking or using public transportation. There are bike racks located throughout HCC’s campus and Regional Transportation Agency (RTA) will be running its normal route from Columbia Town Center to HCC throughout the day. For RTA route information and schedule, call its customer service line at 1-800-270-9553 or visit www.transitrta.com. HCC Radio will also be broadcasting live from the event.

For more information and the day’s event schedule, visit www.HCGreenFest.org or contact Alan Wilcom, GreenFest Co-chair, at 410-313-6444 or email awilcom@howardcountymd.gov.

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