Eco-Fair, breakfast highlight Earth weekend

The worldwide celebration of Earth Day will have its own Edina flair as the festivities come to Morningside.

The weekend neighborhood celebration, open to anyone, begins on Saturday morning when Edina Morningside Community Church hosts an EarthWorks Breakfast 8:30-11 a.m., which includes presentations such as urban bee farming, iMatter students discussing their climate actions at 9:30 a.m. and a bicycle safety and maintenance clinic at 10 a.m.

On Sunday, the Morningside Eco-Fair will begin with a bike parade from Edina Community Lutheran Church to Weber Park at 1:45 p.m.
From 2-5 p.m., the neighborhood will celebrate the Earth with ideas for sustainable living and family activities.

While other climate-based activities this weekend range from the People’s Climate March sending buses to Washington D.C. and a planned science protest in St. Paul, Paul Thompson of Cool Planet believes it is important to still be active right in Edina.

“We are bringing solutions right into the neighborhood,” Thompson said. “If we want to see change from our leaders, we have to adopt those changes in the way that we are living.”

Thompson said that there are simple changes people can do that reduce their carbon footprints, but that it is important to see other people doing participating.

“Edina has a goal to cut carbon emissions 30 percent by 2025,” Thompson said. “It is an aggressive goal, so we need to do our part. We are kind of on the leading edge of this wave. We want the kids to be out in front encouraging and pushing their parents to do the right thing.”

On top of outdoor games, like a game that serves to demonstrate yard and driveway runoff, kids will also be given Eco Passports. After visiting enough booths, which will provide stickers for the passports, kids will get a badge that says they are “Eco Heroes.”

In the warming house, booths and activities include looking through Edina’s energy plan and getting more families to commit to wind source and community solar.

Residents can also adopt a storm drain, which includes keeping drains clean and reducing pollutants that go into the storm water system.
Hennepin County will also have a representative to talk about composting and food waste reduction.

“The biggest waste now is food waste,” Thompson said. “It is something that should appeal to everyone – to learn how to think before they shop, and how it gets recycled.”

Another big draw according to Thompson will be the electric car showroom, which provides an opportunity for residents to see climate-friendly cars such as a Chevy Bolt, Ford Focus and a BMW i3.

“These are all action steps that people can take that will take care of our natural environment,” Thompson said.