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Celebrate Earth Sunday in Morristown

The 2012 Earth Day Experience will be held Sunday, April 22, noon to 6 p.m.

When some think about "Earth Day," this year on April 22, perhaps they think about picking up some trash, which is a good thing. Maybe they think about air drying their clothes or . Those are good things, too. What they might not be thinking about is "fun."

The organizers of the , hope to change all that.

The event, being held on multiple levels of the garage, will feature not only information on how people can be better stewards to the planet, but some amusements as well, including garage sales, a farmers' market, even a little live music ().

"It's going to be fun," said Paul Miller, director of Morristown's sustainability office, and the main organizer for Sunday's event. He noted many local organizations that will comprise the six-hour celebration of the planet, including Grow it Green Morristown, , , Bike and Walk Morristown, , Villa Enterprises ( and ) and . There will be a sustainable living expo, sales of environmental and sustainability-oriented products, including a vertical hydroponic garden and organic linens.

"It's an interesting mix," Miller said.

Church of the Redeemer, which is currently going for "Green Sanctuary Certification" through the GreenFaith organization, will be on-hand to talk to people about solar installations, and whether or not someone's home is eligible to participate at no cost.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for those thinking about doing that if they're eligible," said the Rev. Cynthia Black, of Church of the Redeemer. "This is something GreenFaith has initiated and we're partnering with them. Those who do these screenings can tell within about 10 minutes whether or not your house is positioned well enough to take advantage of the sunlight.

"It's a great opportunity and we're happy to partner with GreenFaith to do it," she said.

Garage sale participants include Bike and Walk Morristown, which will have bike parts, supplies, furniture, clothes and, among its wares for sale, a pair of exclusive bumper stickers.

The farmers' market will include several veterans of Morristown's summertime Farmers' Market for those champing at the bit for its return, as well a number of others. These include Valley Shepherd Creamery, Griggstown Quail Farm, Joy B's Farm and Made With Love, a bakery out of Jersey City.

Helen McLaughlin, co-owner of Mini Mac Farm in Long Valley with husband Bill, said they were thrilled to be invited to Earth Day Experience.

"I just think it's awesome, and I wanted to be part of it," she said. 

For sale at the Mini Mac booth will be hormone, steroid and antibiotic-free eggs, grassfed beef, free range chicken and more, raised on the farm's 18 preserved acres the McLaughlin's have owned for six years.

"It's not just a business, it's our lifestyle," Helen McLaughlin said.

Tours of 14 Maple Ave., which has achieved LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, also will be available. 

And, if it rains? Miller said that would be no problem, since everything could just be moved one level down into the garage, which still provides an open-air environment. "Don't let the wet sky dampen your enthusiasm for the event," he said. "We will still have daylight and fresh air."

And, a love for the planet.

"We're excited," Miller said. "This is an opportunity to celebrate Morristown's continued efforts of creating a more sustainable future, not just for us but for generations yet to come. Whether you're well-versed or new to some of these issues, it's an opportunity to meet other likeminded folks and really discover your part in what really needs to be a community-wide effort."

Mary McNabb April 22, 2012 at 06:51 PM
I was very disappointed with the event. I was expecting something much bigger. There were not enough garage sale vendors and it was ridiculous having to pay for parking. It took me over 5 minutes playing with the ticket machine trying to figure out how to work it.
John Dunphy April 22, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Sorry to hear you weren't impressed. And, you should have stopped by the Patch booth. We had free "Park on Patch" vouchers for people who carpooled to the event!
Helen McLaughlin April 23, 2012 at 12:20 PM
We had a wonderful experience participating in the Earth Day Celebration. The event was well organized, met so many people, and live music was a great bonus! We have a delivery service to Morristown once a month with our naturally raised meats and fresh eggs that many people didn't know about. Thanks for a great day! Mini Mac Farm, Long Valley, NJ
Susan Lotter April 23, 2012 at 01:07 PM
We had a great time participating in our first Earth Day Celebration. Too bad the weather didn't cooperate a bit for us, but it was in a great location! Thank you for letting me be a part of your endeavor! Susan Lotter, The Bottled Wick.
Kendra Arnold April 23, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Bike and Walk Morristown had a great time at our garage sale booth. Thanks to everyone who generously donated their unwanted stuff, and thanks to everyone who bought it! Looking forward to next year!
Jill Kubin April 23, 2012 at 06:03 PM
My best friend took my 11 yr old daughter and her 12 year old friend. They had a wonderful time. Julia (11) came home with a large assortment of polished rocks that she spent the whole night organizing and sharing with me. She has been a rock collector much of her life and she was so excited to see that someone was selling their collection. She also bought a crystal growing kit and has already started growing crystals. Her friend Jenny (12) also had a great time and bought an antique camera. I think it may be the one that is pictured in the photos posted by patch. My friend came back with a bag full of Disney VHS movies and some books. I wish I had gone. It sounds like it was a great way to buy items that people no longer wanted instead of having them end up in a landfill. Maybe next year it will be a bigger event for those who were disappointed with the size this year.
John Dunphy April 23, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Personally, I would love to see something like this utilize the empty space in the garage once a month. HINT HINT?
Kendra Arnold April 23, 2012 at 08:31 PM
I sold your daughter the rock collection, and she after she bought it, she said, "I LOVE ROCKS!" She was so excited about it; she really made my entire day. Your friend left an email address and I passed it on to the original owner of the collection, who wants to pass on some info about some of the rocks. Anyhow, your daughter was so fun, and plus so great to see a kid so happy about rocks.
Jill Kubin April 24, 2012 at 05:28 AM
Thanks, Kendra. Recently, she started a rock and gem Facebook page. We posted photos of the rocks from yesterday. Here is the link. :) https://www.facebook.com/groups/135436889898209/

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