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Enjoying a campfire and marshmallow-toasting at the Earth Day Festival. Photo credit Chris Kenney.




Earth Day Festival

Where: Massabesic Audubon Center, 26 Audubon Way, Auburn
When: Saturday, April 16, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Cost: $7 per person or $20 per family for members, $10/$30 for non-members
Visit: nhaudubon.org




Down-to-earth fun
Massabesic Audubon hosts Earth Day Festival

04/14/16
By Angie Sykeny asykeny@hippopress.com



 “Tread lightly” is the message of the annual Earth Day Festival organized by Massabesic Audubon and the Student Conservation Association to celebrate New Hampshire wildlife and promote environmental awareness. 

This year’s festival takes place on Saturday, April 16 — almost a week before the actual Earth Day, which is April 22 — at the Massabesic Audubon Center in Auburn. There will be Earth-friendly fun for all ages, including demonstrations and presentations with live animals, hands-on activities, Earth-conscious exhibitors, food, live music and more. 
This will be the ninth year for the Earth Day Festival, which has become Massabesic Audubon’s signature event. 
“Earth Day is the day people choose to celebrate the Earth, but for us [at the Massabesic Audubon], it really represents our mission and what we’re thinking about all year long,” said program director Angie Krysiak. “So we thought this ought to be the time of year we do something big to get people back into nature and to learn ways they can be more eco-friendly.” 
There will be plenty of opportunities to see live animals and learn about them. The Massabesic Audubon Center will have its own animals out for people to hold or see up close, such as frogs, turtles and snakes, and they’ll be giving presentations with these animals throughout the day. Jane Kelly of On the Wing will be giving her Birds of Prey presentations with live raptors, and Audubon volunteer Lauren Kras will be doing bird banding demonstrations and explaining how bird banding is beneficial for scientific study and developing new ways to protect the birds. The costumed Ranger Rick will also be making the rounds. 
A variety of nature-focused and earth-friendly businesses and organizations will have booths at the festival. They’ll be running games, crafts and kids’ activities, and sharing tips and tricks about how people can reduce their impact on the Earth in their day-to-day lives. New this year, some local artisans from NH Made will be there selling their handmade products, and event sponsor ReVision Energy will be bringing an electric car for visitors to check out. 
Live acoustic bluegrass music will be provided by local musician Bill Perry in the food area. A-Market natural foods store of Manchester will have lunch items like sandwiches, soups and wraps available for purchase. 
Visitors can contribute to the Earth Day group mural painting by filling out squares with their names, ways they are going to help the Earth, pictures of nature or anything else they feel represents their part in Earth Day. 
Other things going on at the festival include face-painting, prize drawings, campfire marshmallow-roasting and a ceremony with tributes and cake-cutting for New Hampshire Audubon President Mike Bartlett, who is retiring next month. 
Lastly, there will be build-your-own birdhouse kits available for purchase, and new this year, as part of its Trees for Wildlife program, the National Wildlife Federation will be giving away up to 200 trees (one per family) for people to take home and plant to boost their yards’ habitability for wildlife. 
“There’s easy things people can do with a little effort,” Krysiak said. “Our hope is that people will come and learn what to do, learn why it’s important, and leave with some ideas and motivation to put more Earth-friendly practices into their lives.” 





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