First annual EcoFest is coming to Media Borough

Transition Town Greater Media is hosting its first annual EcoFest on Sept. 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Heritage Park in Media Borough.

Julie Smith outside her home in Media, Pa. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Julie Smith outside her home in Media, Pa. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

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Everybody’s Hometown is debuting a new, environmentally-friendly tradition.

On Sept. 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Transition Town Greater Media, a local organization dedicated to addressing climate change and sustainability, is hosting its first annual EcoFest at Heritage Park in Media Borough.

“EcoFest is really our way of highlighting all the great environmental resources in the greater Media area, where we are pretty active,” said Shari Steuber, an initiating member of Transition Town Greater Media.

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Organizers have planned family-friendly activities including food, music, a guided nature walk, and environmental resources.

There will be hands-on learning workshops such as how to replace plastic products with greener alternatives and what trees and shrubbery work best in a residential yard.

“We have a bunch of organizations coming with tables and information about what they’re doing and the kind of projects that they are putting out and kind of the outcomes that they’re hoping for,” Steuber said.

Steuber said various groups from across Delaware County are simply trying to make people aware of the actions they can take in their everyday lives to reduce their carbon footprint.

Organizations from Media and its surrounding communities are participating in the event including the Media Borough Environmental Advisory Council, Green Wagon Project, Tri-State Bird Rescue, Bee City, Greener Partners, the NAACP Media Area Branch, and others.

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“There’s just so much going on around here and we were just kind of trying to bring it all together and let people know that it’s a great place to live if you want to learn how to be environmentally conscious,” Steuber said.

Media’s first EcoFest is the brainchild of Julie Smith, a volunteer with Transition Town Greater Media. Smith, who is also involved with Keep Media Green, has been active in preserving open space in the borough.

“In being part of Keep Media Green, I realized that there’s such a green community here, and the people are all working really hard,” Smith said. “But a lot of people work independently, the groups were working independently. And I was trying to figure out a way to bring people together and coordinate.”

Smith came up with the idea of an EcoFest while on a walk with a borough council member. She then turned to an organization with a track record of results.

Glen Providence Park in Media, Pa. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

“I brought it to Transition Town Greater Media, because I couldn’t figure out a way to actually make this happen, except with an organization behind me,” she said. “And they loved the idea and people got really excited about it — and it just blossomed from there.”

Smith hopes that this event demonstrates to attendees the value of an old mission statement she would see as a child at Gnome Countryside in Lancaster County: protect what you love.

“I realized if we’re going to fight for the environment and want to make things better, we have to show why you love what’s right outside of your door, why you want to protect it, and not only show them why, but make it fun and exciting,” she said.

Saturdays just got more interesting.

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