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Youth building a green future

Information fair celebrates the area's work for the environment

Local children at last year’s Go Green event. Photo by Dick Solo

November 13, 2012 | 01:17 PM
Port Jefferson Village Go Green, a joint project of the Village of Port Jefferson, the Humanities Institute at Stony Brook University, the Port Jefferson School District and Port Jefferson Free Library, invites residents of the Village and of the wider community to the fifth annual Green Information Fair on Saturday, Nov. 17, from noon to 4 pm, at the Port Jefferson Village Center, 101 East Broadway. This year's fair highlights youth activities on behalf of the local and global environment, a subject that connects the environment at home with green efforts in the Village and beyond. The fair will offer attendees the chance to learn about activities in the schools and communities as well as educational and creative opportunities for children and adults.

The Village's youngest students from Edna Louise Spear Elementary School will provide green entertainment for all ages. The Fifth Grade Select Choir, conducted by Jessica Pastor and accompanied by Andrew Frey, will perform "Give Us Hope" at 2 pm and again at 3 pm. Throughout the afternoon, the elementary school Green Team will offer club-made board games to exhibit and play and will share knowledge and action plans for living a "greener" life. Come to hear student voices, which demonstrate the passion and fun of environmental activism.

Members of the middle and high school environmental clubs will be on hand to discuss their research and local green efforts. Middle school students will present and answer questions about research projects on such topics as hypoxia, dune restoration and the importance of cleaning up after pets. Members of the high school environmental club will highlight their recent activities, including the results of a town-wide survey regarding environmental awareness and eco-friendly habits as well as their ongoing efforts to popularize "green canteens" — stainless steel water containers — to reduce plastic bottle use. They will be selling 25-ounce bottles and running a raffle with gift cards and items from stores throughout Port Jefferson. Proceeds will go to Island Harvest, a hunger-relief organization centered on Long Island that has made significant efforts to help those suffering in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The fair will also feature art by high school students under the direction of Lynne Edsall.

Area children are invited to come to the fair to enjoy free craft projects that reuse and recycle. The Port Jefferson Free Library Green Teens will be offering materials and guidance for green crafts, including cloth hangers decorated with plastic bags, green stamps made of bottle caps and foam stickers, ribbon bookmarks and a carton wallet. Children will have the option to make these crafts for their families or to donate their creations to residents of local nursing homes, thus spreading the green goodwill around. In addition, Brookhaven Environmental Educator Eileen Gerle will provide visitors with the chance to make fish prints.

Informational booths staffed by volunteers from a range of organizations will highlight initiatives currently underway in Port Jefferson Village and around the world. Laura Zimmerman of the Royal Educational Foundation will discuss their educational and funding mission in the Port Jefferson School District, including a seal release program in conjunction with the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation and a beach garbage pickup. Lauren Hubbard, master gardener and Maritime Explorium board member, will display Long Island native plants and options for local gardens. Hubbard will also offer kids a discount coupon for admission to the Explorium. Many other local organizations will also be on hand.

In addition to informational booths and entertainment, the fair offers free products to those who attend. Barbara Haegele's popular "green elephant table" will return again this year. The table offers residents the opportunity to donate gently used items (no books, linen or clothing, please). Even if you don't have something to donate, come and peruse the items and take home anything you like in this creative opportunity to reuse treasures from local households.

Port Jefferson Village Go Green and Kenneth Bossert, superintendent of Port Jefferson School District, invite neighbors near and far to come together on Nov. 17 for an afternoon of information, fun and inspiration. For more information, call 473-3549.

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