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Courtesy photo.




10th annual Earth Day Festival

When: Saturday, April 8, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Massabesic Audubon Center, 26 Audubon Way, Auburn
Cost: $7 per person, or $20 per family
Visit: nhaudubon.org




Down to Earth
Earth Day festival returns to NH Audubon Center

04/06/17
By Matt Ingersoll listings@hippopress.com



 Earth Day may be a couple of weeks away, but visitors to the Massabesic Audubon Center’s 10th annual Earth Day Festival can get a head start on helping to improve the environment, by connecting with nature through live animal presentations, meeting with local exhibitors, participating in crafts and more.

The festival, which has become the Center’s signature annual event with a partnership from the Student Conservation Association, will be held on Saturday, April 8, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The theme for the event in previous years has been “tread lightly,” with New Hampshire Audubon members encouraging the public to think about how to lessen their actions that negatively impact the environment. But program director Angie Krysiak said the new theme this year is “protect and connect.”
“This year we’re really trying to get people to be more proactive,” she said. “So, besides thinking about what they are doing negatively, we want them to be active and thinking about the positive things, and how they can be stewards to do more [for the environment]. … We want people to feel like every little thing they can do can make a difference … and make them feel empowered.”
One of the new features of this year’s festival to help do just that, Krysiak said, will be the release of a red-tailed hawk that was recently found near the center. This will take place at 2:30 p.m. by wildlife rehabilitator Maria Colby. Live animal presentations will be held throughout the day that will include raptors, turtles and other various species at the Center.
“I think [seeing] the hawk release will be really cool,” Krysiak said. “I think it’s an emotional release for people. Seeing actual wildlife and having that experience sorts of leads them to make that connection and think, ‘I want to do something to help.’ It really grabs people and makes them want to get involved.”
Another feature to tie in to the new theme of the event is Every Day is Earth Day Challenge, a small booklet visitors can take home with a to-do checklist on how you can improve the Earth.
“The hope is that people can walk away thinking the things they can do to help are fairly easy, like using natural products in your garden or changing the light bulbs in your house,” she said.
A variety of local Earth-friendly exhibitors will be on hand for the duration of the festival, including The Smelly Hippie Apothecary, Red Manse Farm, Amoskeag Fishways, The Healthy Porcupine, the Seacoast Science Center and more.
“[The vendors] will have things that appeal to both adults and children,” Krysiak said. “They might be selling products or setting up informational booths about their company, and for the kids, they’ll give them a craft or a matching activity or a guessing game or something that they can take home. … Red Manse Farm will be talking about their CSA program and how CSAs benefit the environment, for example.”
Food will be available for purchase courtesy of Roots Catering. For $5 you can take home materials you can use to build your own birdhouse. Other activities will be live music, face-painting, mural-painting, visits with Ranger Rick, and a bonfire with opportunities to roast marshmallows.





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