By Barbara Wetzel
BOONSBORO, Md. (May 8, 2010) — Early morning rain cleared out just in time for the start of the second annual Boonsboro Green Fest on Saturday, May 8, at beautiful Shafer Park in Boonsboro.
Steady winds, very strong at times, didn’t deter an estimated 2,500 people who wanted to learn more about how to help Mother Earth on Mother’s Day weekend.
Nearly 100 vendors and more than 70 volunteers joined with the Boonsboro Recycling Task Force to put on the event dedicated to promoting conservation and recycling in the community.
“I want to thank everyone who participated, especially the many vendors and volunteers who braved some challenging weather conditions to pull off a great event for our area residents,” said Jenny Sarnecki, chair of the Green Fest Committee. “We are grateful for their tenacity and their spirit.”
Attendees had loads of offerings from which to choose, including recycling opportunities, special speakers, entertainment and a wide variety of vendors of earth-friendly products, services and information.
Hundreds of recyclable items – from bikes to computers, from unwanted prescription medications to used flower pots – were collected in the drive-thru recycling loop.
Goodwill, for example, collected approximately two tons of computers, monitors and other computer equipment. The document shredder truck was filled to the brim with shredded documents. The Bikes of the World truck was packed with bikes headed to either South American or Africa.
About 100 pounds of Styrofoam filled an entire large van for its trip to the recycling venue at the 40 West Landfill, according to Rick Schulman, a volunteer at the Green Fest and owner of Freedom Electronics Recycling of Williamsport.
Also collected were 140 cell phones, 112 pairs of shoes and close to 200 ink cartridges, according to coordinator Kathy Vesely, who also served as volunteer coordinator for the entire fesitval. Vesely is also chair of the Washington County Solid Waste Advisory Board.
Fifty pairs of eyeglasses were collected by the Boonsboro Lions Club and more than 40 rechargeable batteries of varying sizes were collected for recycling by Washington County Recycling Office, according to Janeen Solberg, Recycling Zone coordinator.
Almost 4,000 pieces of clothing were either swapped or sold at the clothing swap and sale – more than doubling last year’s total of 1,500, says Brigitte Schmidt, coordinator. Hundreds of books also found new homes at children’s book swap and sale sponsored by a Girl Scout troop.
As many as 500 children were drawn to special activities in the Kids Zone, including crafts, storytelling, music, puppet shows, skits and the book swap, according to Rosemary James and Leslie Haardt, co-chairs of the Kids Zone.
Special speakers presented programs throughout the day in the Community Center where attendees spun a roulette wheel for more than 70 door prizes. Topics included: caring for trees, alternative energy, recycling, tomato-growing problems and repotting house plants. Laura Schnackenberg coordinated the speakers’ program.
The 10 o’clock ribbon-cutting was emceed by Miss Washington County Mary King and attended by local, state and national officials, including five of the seven members of the Boonsboro Mayor and Council. The Town of Boonsboro has embraced the Green Fest as an official town event for both years.
Other officials showing their support by attending the ribbon-cutting were Washington County Board of Education members, school administrators, Washington County commis-sioners and government agency managers, a City of Hagerstown council member, state elected officials and Western Maryland representatives for Maryland’s two U.S. senators.
Ten members of the Green Fest Committee were also on hand for the ceremony. They were: Chair Jenny Sarnecki, Sieg Gooding, Leslie Haardt, Amy Jones, Rosemary James, Brigitte Schmidt, Laura Schnackenberg, Janeen Solberg, Kathy Vesely and Barbara Wetzel. Member Sean Haardt was out of town and unable to attend.
Blue skies were the order of the day. But brisk winds, extremely strong at times, played havoc with some of the tents and canopies used by the vendors. The Task Force, in fact, lost its tent to a gust of wind in mid-afternoon and another pop-up tent was seen tumbling through an open, paved area in the Kids Zone.
Barry Martin of Boonsboro served as chief photographer. His assistants were Sieg Gooding, Green Fest graphics designer, and Barbara and Ryan Wetzel.