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Columbia’s Earth Day Festival Blooms This Weekend

The Columbia Earth Day Festival is back on, with two green thumbs up.

The Columbia Earth Day Coalition will be hosting springtime events throughout Boone County with hopes to start a conversation about our carbon footprint. The coalition sprouted its first event - The Earth, The Sun, The Art - at Logboat Brewing Company Thursday afternoon and will continue its celebrations throughout the weekend.

The festival includes many events such as musical performances, a virtual composting workshop, and a day for kids and families at Columbia Farmers Market.

Laura Wacker, the coordinator for Columbia’s Earth Day Festival, said hosting these Earth Day events will hopefully bring awareness to living a sustainable lifestyle and respark the national climate change conversation.

“We were really enjoying the increased conversation about climate change that was happening in 2019,” Wacker said. “With Greta Thunberg really getting a lot more people involved in efforts to help maintain our planet at a temperature that is livable for humanity.”

Wacker also said this year’s celebrations are a step up from last year’s, which they postponed and hosted a virtual art show instead due to COVID-19. She began to plan this year’s Earth Day celebration right after the previous festival finished.

“When we have protocols, it's very hard to plan… one of the largest festivals in Columbia,” Wacker said. “We’ve been shuttered up for a year, and it's nice to get out and see people again while practicing social distancing and mask wearing.”

Erica Ascani, the community engagement coordinator for the Ped-Net Coalition, is helping the Earth Day Coalition host Sunday’s Bikes and Art at Cooper’s Landing Earth Day event. She said this year's Earth Day is especially important because time during the pandemic has allowed people to reflect on the importance of caring for the planet.

“We kind of all see the changes that we truly, truly need to make, whether it's at an individual level or a systemic and worldwide level,” Ascani said. “So we want to be a part of that and educate folks on what they can do individually, especially with their transportation on curbing their footprint.”

Sunday’s Earth Day event will focus on educating attendees about other ways to commute sustainably and about the bike trails throughout Columbia.

“It's also really important to make individual changes,” Ascani said. “If everyone said, ‘Well, my impact doesn't matter, I'm just one person,’ then no one's impact matters. We'd like to spread the word that making just one little change to your routine makes a huge difference across the world.”

More information about this weekend’s Earth Day celebration is available on the Columbia Earth Day Coalition’s website.