Earth Day officially falls on April 22, but this year, New Paltz will be celebrating it at several locations the following Saturday, April 27. If you’ve got some cabin fever clogging up your winter-weary carcass, and you’re longing to get outside and go for a jog or dig your fingers into fresh loamy soil, then you’ve got several options awaiting you on that special day when we remind ourselves of our vital connections to our home planet.
Now’s the time to sign up if you’d like to participate in the Earth Day Community Run/Walk & Kids’ Fun Run along Huguenot Street and the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail (you’ll also get a tee-shirt if you’re one of the first 100 registrants). A benefit event for the Huguenot Street Cooperative Nursery School, the 5K race is sanctioned by USA Track and Field and timed by the Shawangunk Runners. It sets out at 10 a.m. from the Reformed Church at 92 Huguenot Street. The fee to participate is $20 if you preregister online at https://runsignup.com/huguenot5kearthdayfamilyfunrun, or $25 for same-day registration, which begins at 8:30 a.m.
Kids can run (or stroll), too! The untimed Family Fun Run is free for all, and sets out from the baseball field next to the school playground at 9:30 a.m. No registration is necessary.
After both races – which will be held rain or shine – everyone is welcome to enjoy the Earth Day Fair activities that will be taking place along Huguenot Street, beginning at 11 a.m. Your hosts for this festive, thought-provoking annual event are the Caring for Creation Committee of the Reformed Church of New Paltz, ably supported by Interfaith Earth Action and the New Paltz Climate Action Coalition.
Earth Day Fair
The church itself is the epicenter of the Earth Day Fair action, which is about evenly split among environmental education, activism and just plain fun. The organizers describe it as “a free interfaith celebration of ‘green living’ and sustainable ways of caring for our Earth and its inhabitants,” featuring an all-day lineup of live music, demonstrations, children’s activities and healthy food prepared by a team of volunteers.
Typical hands-on activities at the Earth Day Fair include catching tiny aquatic organisms from a tank and looking at them under magnification, courtesy of the Wallkill River Watershed Alliance; potting up vegetable and flower seedlings in egg cartons to take home, coached by the Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardeners program; and helping to make a community art project out of recycled materials. The street will be lined with electric cars whose owners are eager to discuss their advantages and upkeep requirements. Green businesses such as solar array installers will have tables set up where you can get information, and it’s the prime time of year to sign up for a membership in a CSA farm share program.
Also, Robb Magee is organizing an educational component in a tent, where people will be able to listen to be 10 to 15 minute environmental talks by local experts.
Then again, you might want to stop by just to catch some free live music or enjoy a cheap, tasty vegetarian lunch, or buy some raffle tickets and see if you’ll be lucky enough to take home one of the prizes being donated by generous local businesses. This is an upbeat, colorful, family-friendly community event that presents opportunities to see friends and neighbors whom you haven’t seen in months because they’ve been cocooning all winter, just like you. The Earth Day Fair continues until 5 p.m. Get updates on the entertainment lineup and other details at www.facebook.com/events/400125167230446.
Home and Garden Show at the Wallkill View Farm Market & Garden Center
If spring to you means time to get started on home and yard improvement projects, you’ll also need to make sure to check in at the third annual Home and Garden Show that will take place on the same day at the Wallkill View Farm Market & Garden Center. The beloved greenmarket out on the Flats will have local businesses set up on-site to offer guidance, pointers and suggestions on how to prepare your home and garden for the spring and summer seasons. Experts in gardening, roofing, construction, insurance, energy services and many other home improvement businesses will be available to help you revamp your house and grounds.
While the primary appeal of the Home and Garden Show is to adult homeowners, there will be plenty of activities to keep the kids occupied while you get on with your brainstorming. Wallkill View Farm staff will help them plant a flower to bring home. That activity is free, and so are the hot dogs that will be available. It all goes down from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 27 at 15 Route 299. Call (845) 255-0243 or check out www.facebook.com/wallkillviewfarm to learn more.