It is with great sadness that Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition (PRWC) announces the cancellation of Woodbury Earth Day Festival. Amid the Covid-19 global pandemic, this cancellation follows the guidance of the US Center for Disease Control and an executive order from Governor Ned Lamont to cancel events drawing more than 50 people.
Carol Haskins, PRWC executive director, said, “We are going to miss seeing everyone down at Hollow Park year, but the safety of attendees, exhibitors, musicians, and volunteers always comes first.”
The annual event featuring over 100 earth-friendly vendors, exhibitors, live music, and food trucks typically draws over 6,000 people from around the region together. As one of the first big events of the season, Woodbury Earth Day has become a chance for friends and neighbors to reconnect after the long winter and join the larger community in festivities that promote sustainable living.
In response to the cancellation, Deb Carlton, Assistant to the First Selectman in Woodbury, said, “I think this event will be missed more than any other.”
April 22, 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Since 1970, Earth Day has increased awareness of environmental issues and has called people to take action to protect the planet we live on. Earth Day is now recognized as the planet’s largest civic event and it has led to passage of landmark environmental laws in the United States, including the Clean Air, Clear Water, and Endangered Species Acts.
This year was set to mark the 26th year of the local Woodbury Earth Day Festival. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, PRWC encourages all to celebrate Earth Day and to take action safely and responsibly. That may mean taking a neighborhood walk with a small garbage bag and a pair of gardening gloves to pick up litter and recyclables, participating in online webinars, pledging to adopt new earth-friendly and RiverSmart practices in your home, or using your voice to drive environmental action online rather than in person.
“As you and your loved ones practice the recommended ‘social distancing,’ we encourage you to spend time outdoors, and invite you to follow @WoodburyEarthDay and @PomperaugRiver on Facebook and Instagram,” said Haskins. “We are sharing lots of information and opportunities for you to celebrate Earth Day every day.
”Woodbury Earth Day will be back next year and will again be presented by PRWC, a local environmental non-profit organization, with support from a dedicated team of community volunteers. Proceeds from this annual event help fund PRWC’s watershed monitoring and restoration initiatives, internship and Youth Conservation Corps programs, educational programs, the development of and advocacy for sustainable water and land use policies, and other essential work. In the spirit of Earth Day and to help recover proceeds associated with the event, please consider making a donation to PRWC on April 22 through the “Give Local” online giving campaign hosted by Connecticut Community Foundation.