Earth Day Festivities Kick off Art Blooms WeekEvent to Start With a Family Fun Bike Ride and Launch of Mayor’s Wellness Campaign
Cherry Hill, NJ –Cherry Hill Township, Sustainable Cherry Hill, and the Cherry Hill Arts Board celebrate Earth Day and kick-off Art Blooms week with the Earth Festival, Saturday, April 28, 2012, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, at Croft Farm, 100 Bortons Mill Road in Cherry Hill. The Earth Festival is a celebration of arts, culture, great local food, family activities, health, wellness, and environmental education. The festival will also feature a morning bike ride and the official launch of the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign. Organizers expect several thousand people from Cherry Hill and surrounding communities to attend this free event taking place rain or shine.
The day will begin with a Family Fun Bike ride, sponsored by Keswick Cycle, through the Barclay Farm neighborhood at 9:00 am. Mayor Cahn will join cyclists of all ages and abilities along the 6.5-mile route. During the Earth Festival, displays and activities include educational initiatives that promote a more sustainable way of living through recycling, health, wellness, fitness, safety, and energy and conservation efforts.
Mayor Chuck Cahn commended the collaboration between the Township’s Arts Board and Sustainable Cherry Hill to create a successful event. “Combining the Township’s efforts to protect and preserve our environment and promote wellness, while making the arts affordable and accessible to our residents allows us to present a festival that is open to everyone,” said Mayor Cahn. “We thank our Arts Board and Sustainable Cherry Hill members, as well as corporate sponsors who have worked many hard and long hours with the Township to produce the festival and the week of Art Blooms events.”
The Earth Festival will feature a children’s play area, including a moon bounce and interactive environmental activities such as supervised ‘chalk’ art (also for adults) portraying answers to the question: What is one thing you learned during earth month to save the planet? Student musical and dance performances on two stages will be scheduled throughout the day. Students from several Cherry Hill schools and Sustainable Cherry Hill volunteers will showcase educational displays with environmental themes. The Township’s “It’s in Our Power” program will have an interactive display for visitors to experience how they can cut energy use with different lighting. Area businesses will exhibit products and services for residents providing information about how they can save money and energy. “Green-friendly” merchants will sell a variety of items as well as food, which will include delicious, healthy options. There will also be collections to recycle or reuse items including: clothing, e-waste, home goods, gently used shoes through Soles 4 Soles, cooking oil, hangers, batteries, and cell phones. The Animal Welfare Association will be on site-collecting used linens and will have pets for adoption at the festival.
Sustainable Cherry Hill’s Jodi Raditz, founder of the Earth Festival taking place on the grounds of the historic farm, says there are many take-aways at the festival. “The goal of the event is to demonstrate how small lifestyle changes can have a significant impact on overall sustainability efforts,” says Raditz. “Sunshine permitting, solar arrays will power our entertainment stages. We’ll have a water truck available so visitors can refill their own water bottles. We are trying to achieve zero waste by composting all food scraps and recycling as much as possible. Our food service providers and vendors are using as much eco- friendly packaging and serving products as possible.”
At this year’s festival, the Township will be launching the Mayor’s Wellness campaign, a voluntary statewide program that equips mayors, township administrators, businesses and community members with tools to develop and implement active and healthy living initiatives. The ultimate goal of the program is to improve community health and wellness while bringing education and relief to skyrocketing health care costs that coincide with the obesity problem throughout the state. The campaign will identify potential programming opportunities to serve a variety of demographics in increasing the health, wellness, and safety of our community.
“Launching the Mayor’s wellness Campaign at this year’s Earth Festival combines a great Township event for the community with an exciting new initiative to engage our residents and promote a healthy lifestyle,” said Mayor Cahn. “Promoting health, safety and wellness will help our families, our businesses and our community by cutting down on healthcare costs, while increasing our ability to help residents feel better and enjoy all our community has to offer.”
The Earth Festival event marks the start of Art Blooms Week, which includes a juried art exhibit, ensemble concert, and other events from April 28th through May 6th. Details about Art Blooms week can be found online at www.CherryHillArts.Blogspot.com. Artists and performers can also find information about participating in Art Blooms Week at the web site.
For information on the Earth Festival and Art Blooms week, including details on family fun entertainment, student displays, vendors and more, visit www.sustainablecherryhill.org. Sustainable Cherry Hill is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization working to bring people together to build a sustainable South Jersey community.