SAINT AUGUSTINE – April 22 is Earth Day, and once again Lincolnville’s Willie Galimore Center, 399 Riberia St.,, will be the venue of an Environmental Challenge Weekend, providing educational and entertaining fun for the whole family. The two-day event will include a forum on Friday evening, followed by a March for Science and activities day on Saturday. All events are free and open to the public.
On Friday evening, everyone is invited to a panel discussion with audience participation to be moderated by former CNN anchor, Brian J. Nelson. A range of environmental topics, including sea-level rise, environmental legislation, fracking, offshore drilling, and beach re-nourishment, will be discussed. The affair begins with a reception at 5 p.m. at the Willie Galimore Center with light food and drink provided by Rype & Readi Market. An exhibition of photographs of threatened and endangered species will be displayed.
At 9 a.m. Saturday there will be a ‘March for Science’, held on the same day as the March in Washington, DC. The march originates at and returns to the Galimore Center and lasts about an hour. Some of the students participating have offered to carry their science projects with them. And following the march, student science projects will be displayed in the Galimore Center.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the grounds of the Center will come alive with music by Environmental Folk Singer Emmett Carlisle, face-painting, exhibits and artwork provided by environmental organizations and vendors from around the county. There will be information on honey bees and bats, as well as the Traveling Zoo from Whitney.Labs. Ayla’s Acres will have cats and dogs available for adoption from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. And a Dunk Tank will be available for visitors to attempt to dunk the willing volunteers. You can even have a look under the hood of the latest hybrid vehicle.
“This event is designed to be a fun time for all with an emphasis on environmental awareness,” event organizer John Pilecki said. “It’s a chance for people to see and learn about local issues affecting our environment. More importantly, it’s an educational and fun day out with the family.”
“Last year I was honored to spend time volunteering as a face painter,” said local artist Jackie Rock. “I am always surprised to discover their requests are of sea animals or the words ‘Love’ and ‘Peace.’ Creating art with kids is fun”
There will be opportunities to learn about environmental issues confronting our county and state. The event, which is in its third year, is sponsored by local businesses and organizations in conjunction with the St. Johns Democratic Party. Events and parking are free.
For more information go to stjohnsdemocraticparty.org, or call 904.825.2336. Any business or non-profit interested in being a sponsor and/or a vendor of the event should contact John Pilecki at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brian J. Nelson will be moderator for the Friday night panel.
Panelists and topics include:
Allen Tilley – The Sierra Club – “Climate Change and Sea-Level Rise”
Jane West – Jane West Law – “Pending Environmental Legislation- An Update”
Neil Armingeon – Mantanzas Riverkeeper – “Beach Renourishment & Its Fallacies”
Chris Wadelton – St. Johns County Soil and Conservation District – “The Legislative Battle Against Fracking in Florida”
Hunter Miller – Environmental Youth Council – “The Role of Environmental Advocacy in Moving Toward Sustainability”
Bill Hamilton – Southern Horticulture and the Environmental Youth Council – “Environmental and Social Justice Initiatives Locally and Internationally”
Environmental sponsors the the two-day event include: Ayla’s Acres No-Kill Animal Rescue; Democratic Party of St. Johns County; Democratic Women’s Club of St. Johns Count; Fishbites; Hastings Democratic Club; Herbie Wiles Insurance; Hyundai of St. Augustine; Indivisible St. Johns; Jane West Law; Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center; Marineland Dolphin Adventure; Oceana; Solar-Fit; Southern Horticulture; Rype & Readi; Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of St. Augustine; Uppity Art.