Origins of Oak Park's Earth Fest & Plans for 2011

In 2009 on a cold Saturday morning, several hundred Oak Parkers gathered for a rally. It was October 24th, half way to Earth Day. After a successful march and rally, I was chatting with Karen Rozmus and K.C. Poulos. Karen is Waste Coordinator at Public Works and K.C. is the Village’s Sustainability Manager. Their titles don’t even begin to describe all of the hard work they do to keep our village green! As we were talking, I remarked that I found it odd that a village with as many sustainability initiatives as Oak Park doesn’t have a village-wide celebration of Earth Day.  If I’d kept my mouth shut, I’d have a lot more free time in April! The saying, “If you want something done, ask a busy woman,” rang true at that moment. The three of us almost immediately began planning Earth Fest 2010, which was successfully help on April 24, 2010 at our Public Works building—the only LEED certified building of its kind in the U.S. This year, we decided to have the event in May so it could be held in conjunction with Oak Park ’s Public Works Day. We are also going to have Earth Fest outdoors this year, so let’s hope that Mother Nature will smile down on us with lots of sunshine.

We expect to have about 50 vendors this year, which is much larger than last year. Adoptable animals from the Animal Care League will be there. Learn about keeping chickens in your yard, edible landscapes and native landscaping too. Renewable energy and weatherization contractors, energy auditors and architects will be on hand to answer all of your home energy questions. Bring the kids to learn about recycling, play games and enjoy live music! Wonder Works Museum and others will be there to get us moving and feeling fit!

I hope you will join me at Earth Fest 2011. Be sure to ride your bike—we’ll have spring bike tune-ups! Or you can walk there and ask Rickshaw Rick for a ride home! I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at Earth Fest—a celebration of sustainability!

Maria Onesto Moran

Green Home Experts823 S. Oak Park Ave.

Oak Park, IL 60304