Right around Noon yesterday I looked across Simms Park from where I was guiding folks to art making, terrarium construction, binocular building and wool felting and spotted my childhood.
There stood about 15 or 20 kiddos, potato sacks pulled up to their waists, waiting, waiting, waiting – GO!
Down the field hopped smiling faces, laughing, cheering, testing their skills at something that most kids these days have never even seen.
It was a sack race!!!
That moment personified the day at the Earth Day Family Festival – a sense of old fashioned community.
We met hundreds and hundreds of people – big and tiny – yesterday. More than 400 pair of toilet paper roll binoculars hung around the necks of kiddos. We added 180 pieces to our recycled map of the world Community “articipation” art installation. That was just at the Our Big Earth tent as we had about a dozen groups who offered up their time and talent to make the Family and Kids Zone a fun, educational place yesterday.
Events like the Earth Day Family Festival happen because of the community that extends beyond the day.
There were SO many people and organizations that helped us pull everything together. I’d like to send out a personal shout:
- OBE mamas rocked the house with collecting recyclables and helping us prep them for our projects. Giant thanks to Phebe May, Melanie Perkins, Bevin Clempson, Sarah Stromquist, Kathy Roberts, Nicola North, Jen Zahavich, Karen McKinnon, Marieke Holtkamp, Kristina Jesperson, Sherry Turnbull, Jodi Wenmann, Marcie Dumais, Ingrid Tutt and Gen McNamee.
- Steve McNamee from Thrifty Foods helped us out with some recyclables and more. Thanks Steve!
- Brazen Sportswear in Courtenay did a bang up rush job on our embroidery. Big thank yous for your time and talent!
- Mega thank yous to Grant Signs in Campbell River for an INCREDIBLE job on our banner. Blair, you rock!
- Custom Stamps & Engraving out of Victoria did all of our custom stamps. Fabulous!
- Adil and his crew at Sure Copies in Courtenay did some great printing work for us on 100% recycled paper. These guys are so awesome!
- The Wenmann Family totally rocked the volunteer universe – Thanks Shawn for your twine expertise, Jodi for the glue run and M watching, Tyler for your enthusiasm and Kyle for his helpfulness with craft projects and pamphlet passing out.
- Same goes for the Davies family. Tim, hope that glue isn’t a permanent addition to your hands. Andi, you so rule in the binocular-making universe! Thanks.
- A sincere and super special thanks to Sherry Turnbull of Little Me Clothing in Courtenay. She is the uber volunteer, always good natured and totally awesome!
- Bevin Clempson was our event photographer for the day and even jumped in to lend a hand with the art installation. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
- Sarah and Katie Stromquist, Zoe Lambert and Robyn Butler lent a big, giant hand in the OBE tent. You guys are so awesome and we love you for your special touch!
- Meaghan Cursons and her crew from the Vancouver Island Music Festival did a bang up job on set up and take down. Extra love goes out to Mike, Cresslyn and Amy for helping us through the pain of major morning wind!
- Beth Tiernan and the Comox Valley Montessori Society were absolutely incredible, spending the day creating terrariums with the kids at the event.
- James Street from Brambles Market brought the coolest kids food science experiments. Thanks!
- Rebecca Watkin of the Saltwater Waldorf School brought her lovely Waldorf vibe and gorgeous wool felting project for kids to enjoy.
- Liz & Kaz Razzmatazz entertained the tiny person masses with their fun tunes. Thank you!
- Dave Talbot and the Comox Valley Multicultural Society truly made the day with their Collaborative games and yummy food (supplied by Valley Asian Foods at 5th and Cliffe in Courtenay).
- Maureen Wagner brought her love for kids and wonderful storytelling skills to the day, giving families the gift of stories. Thanks Maureen!
- A GIANT thank you to Ken’s mom, Betty Burrows, for being grandma. She held down the fort, kept an eyeball on the tiny person while we ran around like crazy and generally remained good natured through it all.
- Huge props to Ed Carswell and his crew from World Community Development Education Society for organizing and managing details.
- Bruce Carron from WildSpirit Nature Awareness for bringing his absolutely awesome hands-on Nature Museum and wowing kids with all things cool in nature.
- Dawn Fizzard from the Ministry of Environment for her all-around good nature and flexibility. She’s also a fountain of knowledge about all things environmental. Thanks Dawn!!!
- The folks at Home Depot for donating the cardboard that served as the squares for the OBE Community “articipation” art installation. The recycled map of the world rocks!!!
- Breanna Morgan from Eagle FM for her undying love in the publicity department.
- Same goes for the advertising folks at the Comox Valley Record. Unending amounts of thank yous!
- To all of the unnamed folks who invested incredible amounts of time to make the event such a fantastic success! Thank you a million times over!
- Mother Nature for her incredible willingness to grant us a gorgeous day on which to celebrate living lightly on the Earth.
- And, of course, all of you for making every day Earth Day!
Now, it’s time to sleep.
See you in the AM!