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Grey to Green features local activists

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Published: Sun, September 14, 2008 @ 10:26 a.m.

YOUNGSTOWN — While gray rain clouds hovered over a green Wick Park, the festival held there today was for the most part successful, event organizer Atty. Debra Weaver said.

"I think that everybody here is having a good time," Weaver said. "I think the turnout and the rain is indicative of what it would be if it were sunny."

Despite a steady rain, hundreds of people wandered in and out of tents during the first annual Grey to Green festival at Wick Park. Weaver said she organized the event to "create awareness of the global climate issues and the need to take care of our planet."

She said she also wanted people to take notice of the revitalization of Wick Park and the environmental proposals made in Youngstown's 2010 plan.

The festival was primarily made up of vendors promoting environment-friendly products, services and ways of life.

Representatives of Treez Please, of which Weaver is president, was there with the organization's plan handy, and ready to sign up volunteers. Vice President Frank Bishop said they were at the festival to help promote sustainability and to get people interested in urban reforestation.

"We decided we want to spread the whole idea of reforestation," Bishop said. "We want lots of people to know how to do it."

Chris Legow, volunteer board member for Northside Weed and Seed, said they were there encourage North Side residents to improve their property. The organization will be giving away plaques for most-improved properties, and they hope to get more residents involved in the project.

"It doesn't have to be major restoration," Legow said. "We're trying to get residents to take interest in the North Side."

Possibly one of the most interesting displays at the festival was the Drop & Shop for Free tent, sponsored by YSU re:CREATE. Manager Sarah Ellis said the community reuse event involved people bringing unwanted, but usable household items and/ or taking items for free.


Wick Park

1000 Fifth Ave., Youngstown

"The goal is to keep usable items out of the landfill," Ellis said. "To reuse them instead of throwing them away."

Ellis said they had a steady flow of donations all day, and just as many people taking items. This is a year-round project, as is the Mahoning Valley Material Exchange. The MVME is an industrial waste exchange for businesses, and works along the same lines as Drop & Shop.

"[Businesses] can get materials, and/or get rid of unwanted, surplus or waste products," Ellis said. "A comapny's byproducts can become another company's start-up products."

For more information on the Green Team-funded organization, visit their Web site.

Other vendors included Kat's Soy Kandles, Energy Detectives, EnviroKnow How and Tai Chi Step One.

Various acts and entertainers were also present at the festival, but spent the day under the shelter of the pavilion. Featured acts included the Market Street Muppet Show, The Youngstown Connection, singer/songwriter Jim Scott, Chaibaba with Machete and Brady's Leap. The event also corresponded with the weekly farmers' market at the First Unitarian Universalist Church on Elm Street.

For more information on the vendors, visit Weaver's blog, Youngstown Moxie II.

See also: ‘Grey to Green’ follows through on 2010 plan.

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