Every picture tells a story, so they say and clearly the many photographs we have of the 2013 Earth Festival show an event blessed with outstanding weather and so many participants .Our theme – Celebrate-Learn-Grow was portrayed in so many ways throughout the festival.
SCHOOLS: The crowd was estimated at 5000 and was augmented by the many Cherry Hill school students, family members, teachers, PTA members, staff and Cherry Hill superintendent Dr. Maureen Reusche who attended the festival. District character education director Mona Noyes and Zone PTA member Kate Verkamp coordinated thought-provoking and creative displays representing 19 schools. The character and sustainability theme blended kindness and sustainability so perfectly. The student displays are also part of the May 14th Cherry Hill board of education meeting taking place at the Malberg administration building. We look forward to an Earth Festival collaboration with the district next April. Our appreciation also goes to Caley Vickerman, the Haiku Mistress who led many students in the “Guerrilla Haiku Movement” chalk-art celebrating our relationship with the Earth.
ENTERTAINMENT: Two stages of performances had toes tapping, hands applauding and the Phillie Phanatic in awe of all the talent in our community. Kudos go to: Thought-provoking performances by elementary students from the Mann and Paine schools, melodious sounds from the Rosettes and Close Harmony (Rosa International Middle); string and saxophone quartets from Cherry Hill East, dancers from Happy Feet, karate experts from Kobukan; upbeat harmony from the Cherry Hill Pine Barons Barbershop Chorus; smooth sounds from Out of the Beardspace and The DG Band and the daylong New Orleans-style sounds from Little Stevie & His Electric Mojo.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Our first-time sponsor Magnum Computer Recycling, set up the e-waste recycling area at the festival entrance. In addition to the free snacks and face-painting, dozens of people unloaded ancient computers, power cords, old gaming stations and other end-of-life electronics. More than 4400 POUNDS of e-waste was collected for safe, Earth-friendly disposal or recycling.
- Our non-profit food vendor – Chimp Aid/Roots & Shoots, collected $1500 which is being donated to the Jane Goodall Foundation Institute.
- The family-friendly bike ride at 9 a.m. included more than 40 participants on the two and nine-mile rides around Cherry Hill
- 100 tree seedlings were planted by children and hopefully- many of those seedlings will grow at the homes of those children.
Our dedicated organizing team which includes Cherry Hill’s Recreation Department with support from the Department of Public Works, Police and Fire Departments, Mayor’s Office and Mayor Chuck Cahn, is already planning for the 5th Cherry Hill Earth Festival. We have a list of updates and tweaks and we’ll work to make the 2014 festival a showcase for South Jersey.