By Barbara Wetzel
Green Fest Co-Chair
BOONSBORO, Md. (May 10, 2015) – Wow! What a spectacular day it was Saturday for the seventh annual Boonsboro Green Fest, held at Shafer Park.
A year of planning paid off in spades, as the only uncontrollable element – the weather – cooperated, bringing upwards to 5,000 people to the beautiful park in the middle of town for the seven-hour festival, the largest of its kind in Western Maryland.
A big drawing card, no doubt, was the wide variety of Eco-friendly vendors, numbering 200 — the most of any previous Green Fest. Besides the dozens of vendor booths throughout the park, other popular venues included the Kids Zone which was visited by hundreds youngsters, the Health & Fitness tent, the guest speaker tent, the Wine & Beer Garden and Silent Auction tent, which was a new feature this year.
Some of the recycling collection stations were a high priority of festival-goers, who deposited unwanted items for recycling and repurposing in the drive-through, drop-off Recycling Zone. More than two dozen stations were set up for everything from TVs to sneakers, from bikes to flower pots, from household items to big plastic play equipment.
Unicor, the TV and electronics recycling contractor for the Washington County landfill, accepted enough TV sets and other electronic devices (15 tall pallets) to fill a large box truck. The pallets were shipped to the recycling facility at the federal prison in Lewistown, Pa. Again this year, the county waived the recycling fee, which normally is about $10 per TV.
Talk about records. More than 15,000 items were swapped and purchased at the Gently-Used Clothing & Sports Equipment Swap and Sale in the pavilion nearest the recycling collectors. That was nearly twice as many as last year’s record of 8,000 items.
Dozens of people were lined up before the swap opened, with the opening of the festival at 10 a.m. There was a frenzy of activity in the pavilion all day, but nothing came close to the early morning rush. Sales proceeds of $265.31 will be donated to Micah’s Backpack and the leftover clothing was carried off in four vehicles by Children in Need of Washington County, Inc., after the festival closed down at 5 o’clock.
Some of the other items collected included: a cubic yard of empty amber prescription bottles destined for the local veterinarian’s practice, 18 cubic yards of clean block Styrofoam crammed into a two-horse trailer, a large box truck filled with household furnishings and materials headed for ReStore of Washington County, 12,000 plastic film bags, an extra-large Conservit roll-off filled with metal, a large roll-off filled with co-mingled household recyclables and 30 bikes collected by the Bikes for the World program.
“We couldn’t be happier with the response again this year from everyone who brought in their recyclables,” said Janeen Solberg, general co-chair of the festival whose husband Greg co-chaired the Recycling Zone.
“This is a huge part of our mission. We hope that someday we can establish a year-around ‘resource recovery station’ where residents will have a convenient place to deposit recyclable materials like the ones we collect during Green Fest,” she explained.
Three outstanding local area acts provided the music all day long on the special stage. They were Strung Tight of Waynesboro, Pa., Andy Carignan of Mt. Airy, Md., and Dino Delray and the Compadres.
Visitors who attended programs in the guest speaker tent heard presentations from Shawn Walker, of Shepherdstown, W.V., on trees; Rick Lowman, of Martinsburg, W.V., on backyard composting, and Nicole McCann of Green America, in Washington, D.C., on GMOs (genetically modified organisms).
The Kids Zone added geocaching and a scavenger hunt to its repertoire of years past, which included making a Mother’s Day card, signing a Pledge to the Earth, watching a puppet show produced by students from Boonsboro Middle Schools ECO-BMS club, and planting some flower seeds and making crafts to take home.
The festival held it first silent auction during this year’s event. In fact, three auctions were held throughout the day, netting $1,128 for Green Fest programs. Most of the items were donated by vendors. Two beautifully painted rain barrels were donated by local artists, Linda Barnhart of Hagerstown, and Gail Padgett and Roni Nehemias of Garden Spires.
The Wine & Beer Garden featured products from local wineries and breweries. Tent sponsors were Big Cork Vineyards and Antietam Spirits, whose owner John Holmes acted as project coordinator. Proceeds of $1,200 were to be donated to the Friends of Shafer Park, for the new Aquatic & Recreation Center.
Other major sponsors of the Green Fest were: King Road Associates (Sycamore Run), Boonsboro Family Dentistry, Herald-Mail Co., Michele Shaffer, CPA, Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Middletown Valley Bank, Ryan Homes, Eby’s Garage, Cronise Corp., Diagnostic Imaging Services, Antietam Cable TV, Turn the Page Bookstore, Dan’s Restaurant & Tap House, DM Designs, Bellwether Printing, Cochran Auctioneers, Natural Fusion Hair Studio, Flynn & Son Electric, Donna Brightman.
The 11 green lamppost banners purchased by sponsors this year brought to 59 the total number now available to decorate most of the posts along Main Street and Shafer Park Drive and inside both sections of the park. Only six more are needed to complete the project. Banners will go on sale Jan. 1, 2016.
The eighth edition of Boonsboro Green Fest will be held on Saturday, May 7, 2016.
An Official Event
of the Town of Boonsboro