Temple University Ambler gets ready for EarthFest 2017

The Elmwood Park Zoo introduces Noah the Bald Eagle to an appreciative crowd at EarthFest.

How do you plan on celebrating Earth Day this year?

EarthFest 2017, Temple University Ambler’s annual outdoor educational festival celebrating Earth Day, is just a few days away!

EarthFest 2017 will be held on Friday, April 28, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine.

“This will be our 15th 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 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 build the Center for Sustainable Communties from the ground up. EarthFest 2017 is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Featherstone, whose vision, guidance and leadership helped create an outdoor, educational experience for the next generation of leaders."

EarthFest will be held on the fields near Ambler’s large student parking lot on Meetinghouse Road.

“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. “We’re very excited to welcome new exhibitors such as the Peace Corps, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and the Center for Aquatic Sciences at Adventure Aquarium and several aquaponics groups that have been working closely with the Temple University Ambler Aquaponics Lab. The aquaponics groups provide an excellent opportunity to spotlight new and innovative ideas about food security and farming.”

Temple University Ambler will also welcome many new schools to the event for their EarthFest experience.

“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,” said Spinella-Sacks. “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.”

Exhibitors at EarthFest

In addition to extremely popular returning participants such as the Franklin Institute, Academy of Natural Sciences, Elmwood Park Zoo, Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion and FEMA, Temple University departments and student organizations form the backbone of our exhibitors.

Temple departments, from the the Division of Architecture and Environmental Design and the Temple University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, to Temple’s Office of Sustainability, Recycling Department and Athletics share important information about the University, environmental stewardship and more.

“This event, with its emphasis on the environment and STEM education gives us the opportunity to encourage students to be genuinely curious about the world around them, which will in turn make them better stewards of the Earth,” said Dr. Joseph Coe, an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering in Temple University’s College of  Engineering. “As civil engineers, we’ll be able to talk about the field and profession; what we do and why we do it.”

Temple University Ambler student organizations, from the Temple Student Planning Organization to the Landscape Architecture and Horticulture Association also provide interactive exhibits that, while fun, teach important lessons to young visitors about recycling, protecting the environment, and preserving plants and animal habitats.

Learn more about exhibiting at EarthFest.

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 85 exhibits expected for 2017, 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 Eric Rivera, who guiding the volunteer effort for 2017. “We are grateful that we can count on previous volunteers returning and new volunteers participating for the first time. 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.”

Learn more about volunteering for EarthFest.

About EarthFest

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.

EarthFest 2017 is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Jeffrey Featherstone, whose vision, guidance and leadership helped create an outdoor, educational experience for the next generation of leaders.

Would you like to suggest a school to invite to EarthFest? Contact Jim Duffy at 267-468-8108 or earthfest@temple.edu.