How do you plan on celebrating Earth Day this year?
EarthFest 2019, Temple University Ambler’s annual outdoor educational festival celebrating Earth Day, will be held on Friday, April 26, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine.
“This will be our 16th year and our 17th EarthFest celebration. This is a tremendous achievement! EarthFest has become an essential part of sharing what Temple University Ambler does best — promoting environmental stewardship in our communities,” said EarthFest Co-Coordinator Susan Spinella Sacks. "I think the success and impact of EarthFest is certainly a fitting tribute to the legacy of (Dr.) Jeff Featherstone, who helped make sustainable research and education such an essential part of Temple as a whole. EarthFest is again dedicated to the memory of Dr. Featherstone, whose vision, guidance and leadership helped create an outdoor, educational experience for the next generation of leaders.”
According to Spinella-Sacks, EarthFest is continuing to expand during the 2018-2019 school year.
"The need to share ideas about sustainability and protecting and preserving the environment with a wide audience is critical, now more than ever," she said. "In the coming year, Temple Ambler EarthFest will be hosting a variety of events, in addition to our main event in April, in partnership with the Ambler Arboretum and other partners designed to get people really thinking about the world around us." Visit our Community Events page to learn about our spring semester events!
The EarthFest main event will be held on the fields near Ambler’s large parking lot on Meetinghouse Road and planning is well underway.
“I think one of the most exciting things about EarthFest is that while our mission remains the same — promote environmental awareness and ways to sustain our communities — every year is a little different,” Spinella-Sacks said. “The Ambler Arboretum will be providing special tours in the campus gardens each hour at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. ad 12 p.m. exploring such as “All Bugs Aren’t Bad,” which specifically relates to seventh-grade curriculum standards in the state, interesting and out of the ordinary plants in our campus Greenhouse and an exploration of the Ambler Campus Aquaponics Lab. We are very excited that EarthFest will include an ‘Aquaponics Adventure’ this year, highlighting several exhibitors — from farms to area schools — that have created their own aquaponics systems!”
Temple University Ambler will welcome many new schools to the event for their first EarthFest experience in addition to schools that have been coming since 2003.
“We think it is wonderful when schools find EarthFest for the first time and then keep coming back year after year. It’s an event that we specifically created for students and their teachers — education presented in a fun way that, hopefully, makes a lasting impression," Sacks said. "Students will learn concepts at EarthFest that they’ve never learned before, ideas that they’ll then take home and share with their parents and friends — that’s where positive change starts. In 2018, we had more than 20 school exhibits as part of the event!”
Volunteering At EarthFest
EarthFest is one of the most successful and highly anticipated events of the year at Temple University Ambler. Thousands of students from all over the region come together and spend time learning about the world in which we live and the interconnected systems on which the lives of people and animals depend.
With about 5,500 visitors and more than 80 exhibits expected for 2019, the need for dedicated individuals to help visitors get the most out of their day is critical.
“As EarthFest continues to grow, so does the need for volunteers. Last year’s event could not have been successful without the help of students, staff, faculty, alumni and community members,” said EarthFest Co-Coordinator James Duffy. “We are hoping that we can count on previous volunteers returning and new volunteers participating for the first time. We have dozens of positions that we need filled, and several time options to choose from. This is a wonderful way to be a part of an event that helps educate thousands of students about the environment and the world around them.”
Volunteers have the opportunity to work at an information table, assist with parking (an absolutely essential role), guide visitors through the event, and much more! Shifts include: 7 to 9:30 a.m. (set-up), 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., and 12 to 2:30 p.m. Bus Parking shifts include: 8:45 to 11:45 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“If you are interested in volunteering but can’t stay for a full shift, let us know what time you are available and we will make it work!” said Duffy. Volunteers get a free volunteer t-shirt “and a wonderfully fulfilling experience!” he added.
Exhibitors At EarthFest
In addition to extremely popular participants such as the Franklin Institute, Academy of Natural Sciences, Elmwood Park Zoo, Center for Aquatic Sciences at Adventure Aquarium, the Insectarium and FEMA, Temple University departments and student organizations form the backbone of our exhibitors.
Temple departments, from the Division of Architecture and Environmental Design to Temple’s Office of Sustainability, Recycling Department and Athletics share important information about the University, environmental stewardship and more.
Temple University Ambler student organizations, from the Landscape Architecture and Horticulture Association to Pi Alpha Xi, the honors society for horticulture students, also provide interactive exhibits that, while fun, teach important lessons to young visitors about recycling, protecting the environment, and preserving plants and animal habitats.
Temple University Ambler held its first campus-wide celebration of Earth Day on April 22, 2003. The inaugural “EarthFest” welcomed 40 exhibitors and 1,500 visitors — a great beginning for a new event celebrating sustainability and environmental stewardship.
EarthFest promotes environmental awareness using sustainable concepts, methods, and practices to protect and preserve our environment. Organizations, businesses, colleges, schools and individuals demonstrate sustainable concepts and technologies and provide interactive educational displays, activities and much more.
Would you like to suggest a school to invite to EarthFest? Contact Jim Duffy at 267-468-8108 or EarthFest@temple.edu.