Eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable practices are as crucial now as they ever have been and need to be taught from a young age, as the future of humankind’s carbon footprint begins with its youth.
This is exactly what Huntsville Public School’s first Eco-Fest aims to do for its students and everyone in the Muskoka community.
“As a school parent council event, we loved the idea of doing a fundraiser that aligned with our school’s principles and values around being environmentally conscious and teaching our children to be respectful of the world they live in,” says Stasi O’Hare, chair of the Huntsville Public School Parent Council.
The Eco-Fest is not only the first event of its kind for HPS, it is also the school’s first in-person event open to the public since the COVID-19 pandemic began, as the original Eco-Fest, planned for 2020, was cancelled.
HPS students, teachers, parents, and staff have all taken initiative to contribute to the event, and O’Hare points out how impressed she is with the level of dedication and passion that exists within the school for Eco-Fest and its cause.
“The ideology of talking about environmental topics and being climate-sensitive meets with our curriculum. Kids are talking in science, social studies, and other ways within the school all the time about how to be more positive with the environment, how to be the change, etcetera, so Eco-Fest lines up really well with our values,” O’Hare says.
Classes are engaging in projects in preparation for Eco-Fest by growing, hand-making, and upcycling products that they will sell at the event in an area they call HPS Marketplace. The funds raised will go toward class programs and field trips.
Speakers from Muskoka Watershed Council, Sustain Eco Store, and others will be hosting short educational presentations throughout the day. Huntsville singer/songwriter Sawyer Lance will be performing at the event.
The event will have a food and drink station, and everything used to serve the food and drink will be reusable or recyclable. The HPS Equity Club will be hosting a tye-dye t-shirt station and Huntsville High School’s Eco Club will be selling self-made vegan baked goods.
The event will include a free door prize draw for any student in attendance to enter for a chance to win a 2022 summer registration with the Huntsville Hurricanes Basketball Club, which the club has graciously donated.
O’Hare says that one major goal of the event is to encourage the community to support local businesses.
“We feel that our community needs to be aware of the eco-sensitive and eco-friendly products and incredible makers, farmers, and artists locally available,” O’Hare says. “A sustainable economy within our community creates a low carbon footprint, so that is very impactful when talking about climate change.”
In eager attendance will be a number of vendors from Muskoka-based businesses, including Cotton Cravings, Little Wolf Leatherwork, Muskoka Craft Honey, Yarnchanted, and Jewels by Becca Jane, among many others. All vendors will be selling crafts, food, skincare, and various other eco-friendly hand-made products.
There are still many spots for vendors available and the HPS Parent Council encourages any local eco-friendly business to sign up for the event.
All funds raised at the event will go to Huntsville Public School, for items such as smart boards, gymnasium equipment, and sound systems, as well as presentations and seminars for students on topics such as social media and internet safety. O’Hare points out that these extras enhance the educational experience of the students.
The HPS Eco-Fest takes place on June 4, 2022 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the school (16 Caroline St. W).
For more information on Eco-Fest, visit hpsschoolcouncil.wixsite.com/hps-ecofest.
Register as a vendor here.
Don’t miss out on Doppler!
Sign up here to receive our email digest with links to our most recent stories.
Local news in your inbox three times per week!