Staunton Earth Day celebration returns for first time in three years
By Rebecca J. Barnabi
For Augusta Free Press
STAUNTON — The last time Earth Day Staunton was held in 2019, the Valley and the world had never heard of COVID-19, but the event’s mission remains the same.
“It’s great to be able to do it in person again,” said Caroline Sheridan, event founder and co-owner of Sunspots Studios in downtown Staunton.
Gypsy Hill Park was not available for this year’s event, on April 23 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., so the Queen City’s Earth Day celebration is going out to the farm. Moore Farm. And will be held in conjunction with Kites & Critters.
“It’s going to be very fun out there,” Sheridan said.
Participants are welcome to bring kites to fly, but kites will also be available, as well as food trucks, programs by the Wildlife Center of Virginia, music by Heifetz Institute, a bluegrass band and lots of exhibitors and vendors.
Sheridan said exhibitors will include a live fish tank, bats from a conservation and rescue group, a beehive, electric vehicles and local environmental and government organizations “that work for the Earth year round.”
The event’s rain date is Sunday, April 24, but if the farm is too muddy on Saturday, Sheridan said the event will be held at the Sunspots Pavilion in downtown.
The event’s theme in 2019 was “Save Our Species.” This year’s theme is “Soil: Mother Earth from the Ground Up.”
“This year what we hope to bring attention to is how important soil is to the health of the environment,” Sheridan said. The Soil & Water Conservation District will have an education trailer at Moore Farm. Discussion will include composting, because putting waste in the trash adds to greenhouse gases and negatively impacting the environment.
Participants are asked to wear masks to this year’s event and not to bring their dogs. Some exhibits will be in a barn on the farm, but most will be outdoors. Moore Farm is at 272 Bells Lane, Staunton.
“We’re coming back with a really great lineup of exhibitors and activities, music and food. It’s going to be a fantastic day,” Sheridan said.
In celebration of Earth Day and National Poetry Month, children and adults are encouraged to submit poems in three categories to the Earth Day Poetry Contest. Deadline is April 22, and more information is available at ShenandoahGreen.org.