Old Florida Celebration of the Arts Promises to be a Sustainable Event

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Submitted by Tom Deverin

It’s that time of year again to enjoy Cedar Key’s art festival, celebrating its 47th year. This year however, there will be a new approach. The Energy Advisory Panel and festival organizers shared the same vision and commitment to make this year’s festival a sustainable event. A sustainable event conserves and restores resources, honors and supports those involved, adds value to the local economy and educates participants about the benefits of sustainability.

The goals of this initial sustainable art festival will be to focus on reducing waste and insuring recycling of one-half of all waste that is produced. To work towards accomplishing these goals, food vendors were asked to make purchasing decisions that would minimize packaging waste and allow food service items to be recycled.

To keep organic waste (in this case, clam and oyster shells), recyclables and trash separate for effective recycling and disposal, there will be two monitored recycle/trash sites in the park. These monitored sites will ensure that festival attendees put shells, recyclables and trash in the correct receptacles.

Who better to monitor and educate than a group of nearly 30 6th, 7th and 8th grade Cedar Key School students?

They will be acquiring both community service hours and points towards the Energy Advisory Panel’s Environmental Scholarship. GO SHARKS!

You may be aware that the Energy Advisory Panel has established an environmental scholarship in our school. It is intended to annually recognize a graduating student who has demonstrated leadership and a commitment to promoting energy awareness, conservation and sustainability.

To fund this scholarship, the Energy Advisory Panel is selling chances to win a 2008 Club Car. This cute golf cart will be on display at the festival with the request of a $20 donation for one chance or $100 for 6 chances to take home this very fun and practical vehicle.

Only 400 tickets will be available and the winner will be announced when the 400th ticket is sold. If a golf cart is not on your wish list, we hope you will make a tax deductible contribution to help guarantee the success of this environ- mental scholarship. Please make all checks to CKS PTO Scholarship.

The next Conservation Corner will not only have the results of our efforts for the sustainable arts festival but also updated figures of ever-increasing recycling capture rates from the city wide recycling program. Until then, have fun and enjoy Cedar Key’s 47th Annual Old Florida Celebration of the Arts.

This column is a project of Cedar Key’ s Energy Advisory Panel, which welcomes first-person accounts of how indi- viduals are conserving (or, even, aspiring to conserve) our community's natural resources.Your submission may be made via email to eileenlbowers@yahoo.com. Please include your full name and your phone number.