ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Government will host its 16th annual GreenFest on Saturday, April 15th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Howard Community College’s (HCC) Science, Engineering, and Technology (SET) Building, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia. This free event offers something for all ages, featuring exhibits, demonstrations, workshops, outdoor activities and practical tips for easy ways to “green” your home, workplace and lifestyle.
As Howard County’s largest celebration of Earth Day, GreenFest aims to connect residents and visitors with the resources that our local businesses, nonprofits and government provide to help anyone be a better steward of our environment. Together, by planting trees, supporting local food systems, nurturing pollinators, improving local water quality, conserving energy and harvesting clean and renewable electricity, we can tackle the effects of climate change and become more energy independent. I encourage all to stop by this fun, innovative event where best practices come to life and learn how you too can do your part to protect our Earth for current and future generations.
GreenFest 2023 will host more than 80 vendors, including solar companies, environmental nonprofits and government agencies, and the popular native plant sale. There will be informational workshops on topics such as supporting pollinators, the County’s butterfly survey results, the benefits of rain barrels and other learning opportunities. Attendees can also learn about local wildlife, including up close experiences with live birds, reptiles and other animals in the Wildlife Room.
In the main exhibit hall, the County’s Recycling Division will honor local businesses and community organizations by presenting its annual “Business Recycling and Waste Reduction” and “Green Community Leadership” awards.
Also, back by popular demand is the FREE document shredding event, where residents can shred up to three bags or boxes of paper documents per person from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (or until the trucks are full) in Parking Lot A.
This year the Repair Café is also back on site. Visitors can bring in broken items from home, such as toasters, lamps, clothes, bicycles, toys or electronics. Volunteer repair specialists will evaluate the items and fix as many as they can for free and can also provide advice about items too large to bring along. To register beforehand to let the Repair Café gurus know what items you plan to bring, visit www.hcgreenfest.org.
In Parking Lot B, in addition to native plant sales, Level the Playing Field will be collecting used sports equipment to be donated to disadvantaged youth. Items like baseball bats, sports balls of all types, tennis rackets, lacrosse sticks, helmets, and other sports related gear and accessories will be accepted.
Attendees are encouraged to think green with their means of transportation to this year’s event to help reduce the event footprint. Consider walking, carpooling, biking or using public transportation. Bike HoCo will set up a corral for bike parking and Regional Transportation Agency (RTA) will be running its normal route from Columbia Town Center to HCC throughout the day. For RTA route information and schedule, call its customer service line at 1-800-270-9553 or visit www.transitrta.com.