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Ribbon-cutting ceremony

Photo courtesy of Barry Martin

SHOW OF SUPPORT - Each armed with scissors, invited officials cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony of the first Green Fest, May 9, at Shafer Park, Boonsboro. They are (from left); Paul Engle, principal of Boonsboro Middle School; Dale Diller, energy management analyst with Washington County Public Schools; Timothy Aitken, assistant principal of Boonsboro Elementary School; Boonsboro Town Council Member Kevin Chambers; Julie Pippel, director of the Washington County Division of Environmental Management; Washington County Commissioner Kristin Aleshire; State Sen. Donald Munson; Julianna Albowicz, Western Maryland representative for U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski; Boonsboro Town Council Member Barbara Wetzel; Board of Education Member Donna Brightman; and Josh Russin, legislative affairs coordinator for the Governor's Office for Community Initiatives.

'We'll be back next year'

The sun shines

on first Green Fest

Thousands attend


Green Fest's Jenny Sarnecki on TV.

(For more photos, click on "News" above.)


BOONSBORO, Md. (May 10, 2009) - Just as everyone had hoped, the week-long monsoon ended yesterday in time for the first annual Boonsboro Green Fest in the town's Shafer Park. 


"We are so happy for the vendors and exhibitors and for the thousands of area residents who came out," said Jenny Sarnecki, who served as chair of the event.


"The weather was just perfect and we were overwhelmed by the positive response from everyone," she added.


Sponsored by the Boonsboro Recycling Task Force, the event couldn't have been more successful, said Sarnecki, as between 2,000 and 3,000 people came to see the more than 85 earth-friendly exhibits, product demonstrations, services and organizations.


"We'll be back next year," was heard over and over again as the vendors packed up their exhibits following the four-hour Green Fest.


"The only complaint we heard was that the festival didn't run longer into the afternoon," said Ms. Sarnecki, who also celebrated her birthday Saturday.


Most all of the exhibits were set up and ready to go by the opening time of 10 a.m. Saturday, when people started streaming into the park. Boonsboro Volunteer Fire Department opened its lot on Stouffer Avenue for parking, collecting only donations instead of the usual fee.


A large, solar-powered event sign, supplied by the Washington County Highway Department, marked the North Main Street entrance to the park.


Attendees with recyclables were directed to the  Collection Zone in the Community Center parking where drop-off sites were set up for electronics, bikes, sewing machines, sneakers, cell phones, egg cartons, wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, canes, wire clothes hangers, plastic flower pots and rechargeable batteries, and paper, cans and bottles for the county's 12-Tons-in-4-Hours recycling challenge.


At 11 a.m., Ms. Sarnecki introduced several officials in attendance for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Elected officials in attendance included State Sen. Donald Munson, who represents most of Washington County in the General Assembly; Washington County Commissioner Kristin Aleshire; Washington County Board of Education member Donna Brightman and Boonsboro Town Council members Kevin Chambers and Barbara Wetzel, who also serves on the Recycling Task Force and the Green Fest Committee.


Others participating in the Band Stand ceremony were Josh Russin, legislative affairs coordinator for the Governor's Office for Community Initiatives; Julianna Albowicz, Western Maryland representative for U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski; Julie Pippel, director of the Washington County Division of Environmental Management; Dale Diller, energy management analyst for Washington County Public Schools; Paul Engle, principal of Boonsboro Middle School, and Timothy Aitken, assistant principal of Boonsboro Elementary School.


The 10-member Green Fest Committee was ably assisted by 39 volunteers, including friends and relatives, and students of all ages.


The Gently-Used Clothing Swap & Sale recycled more than 1,500 pieces of clothing.


The Kids Zone was well-attended by nearly 300 children of all ages, interested in hearing stories, making a bird house and "Stamp Out Landfills" stamp, writing a "Pledge to the Earth," participating in a sing-along and checking out the toys made from recycled materials.


Success stories

A food vendor announced that his church sold three times more food than they had predicted.


A vendor of hand-crafted items made of recycled materials did a land-office business on her first time at any festival.


Parents of a local vendor drove all the way from North Carolina to participate and they're coming back next year.


One rain barrel vendor sold all of its barrels in the first hour of the festival.


Recycling stations were busy, as some area residents went back home - after learning what items were being collected - and returned with their recyclables. One local family donated three wheelchairs, which will be fixed up by an organization and given to those in need.


The Boonsboro High School Environmental Club collected hundreds of old cell phones and the sneaker collection bins were overflowing with shoes of every size, headed for the grinder to make running tracks for children.




The Green Fest Committee would like to thank:









The Green Fest Committe

Chair Jenny Sarnecki

Sieglinde Gooding

Rosemary James

 Amy Jones

Brigitte Schmidt

Laura Schnackenberg

Janeen Solberg

Kathy Vesely

Barbara Wetzel

 Harvey Hoch, county liaison


A PROUD BEGINNING - Jenny Sarnecki, committee chair, proudly displays the first returned vendor application and the first door prize at a late March committee meeting. This vendor and 84 others showed up on May 9 for the first annual Green Fest. Vendors and organizers alike are looking forward to a repeat performance next May.


NO RAIN WISH COMES TRUE - Jenny Sarnecki, committee chair, was showered with gifts, not rain, on Green Fest Day. Saturday was Jenny's birthday and she had two cakes to prove it! Cake holders are Janeen Solberg (center), a member of the Green Fest Committee and chair of the Recycling Task Force, sponsor of the event, and Bruce Schmidt, husband of committee and Task Force Member Brigitte Schmidt.

____Official Event____

Town of Boonsboro, Maryland

Nearly 3,000 in attendance

1st annual Green Fest

declared grand success


GREEN FEST WELCOMES LEADERS - Many local, state and even federal representatives attended the Boonsboro Green Fest on Saturday, May 9, at Shafer Park. Talking after the ribbon-cutting at the Band Shell were (from left) State Sen. Don Munson, of Hagerstown; Josh Russin, legislative director for the Governor's Office of Community Initiatives; Julianna Albowicz, U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski's Western Maryland representative; Green Fest Chair Jenny Sarnecki and Janeen Solberg, a member of the Green Fest Committee and the chair of the Boonsboro Recycling Task Force, sponsor of the event.


YOUTH GROUP HONORED - Green Fest Chair Jenny Sarnecki (left) reads a story about how Roland England (far right) recruited members of the Youth of Trinity Reformed United Church of Christ to clean up the larger stream running through Shafer Park. On April 3, he and these youngsters started cleaning the stream from where it leaves the park until they were stopped by a fence. On the way, they fought through thick underbrush while picking up six large, contractor-size bags of recyclable bottles and cans, and a large bag of trash. The youngsters were recognized Saturday, May 9, by the Green Fest Committee for their good deeds. State Sen. Don Munson (second from right) and Sen. Barbara Mikulski's Western Maryland representative, Julianna Albowicz (third from right), look on. 


MEDIA COVERAGE - Jenny Sarnecki, chair of the Green Fest Committee, answers questions from a WHAG-TV reporter. Print media covering the first-time event Saturday included the daily Herald-Mail and the weekly Valley Citizen newspapers. Coverage leading up to the Green Fest appeared in the Frederick News-Post, The Picket News, The Hancock News and The Washington Post, as well as the Herald-Mail and Citizen. Several area radio stations also included information about the Green Fest in their calendars of events. Many of the vendors and exhibitors carried notices of their participation in the Green Fest on their own websites. The event date was established too late, however, to be included in the tourism calendars published by the State of Maryland and Washington County.


GREEN FESTERS FROM BRUNSWICK - Ellis Burruss (left) and Karin Tome make their rounds through Boonsboro's Shafer Park during Green Fest on Saturday. Ms. Tome, a member of the Brunswick Town Council and a recycling advocate, sports an attention-getting hat, replete with recyclable bottles and cans. Mr. Ellis owns and operates Bellwether Printing Ltd., which printed the Green Fest program/brochure (with soy ink on recycled paper). 

Parking area to be opened


Green Fest set to go;

'rain will stop in time'

BOONSBORO (May 7, 2009) - "The concensus is that the rain will stop one of these days and Saturday is that day," declares Green Fest Commit-tee Chair Jenny Sarnecki.


It has rained every day this week, leading up to the Green Fest at Shafer Park this weekend.


"We are wrapping up a lot of loose ends so that everything will go as smoothly as possible," she says. "We just know the weather will clear up and we're moving along with final preparations."


She says many of the exhibitors will be hedging their bets, as they plan to put their displays and demonstrations under canopies, which, of course, would also protect them from the rays of the sun, an unlikely, but always a possible occurrence.



Fire Department lot

offers handy parking

The Boonsboro Volunteer Fire Department will open its vacant lot on Stouffer Avenue for parking during Green Fest.


The lot behind Alex gas station, on North Main Street, provides convenient, close-by parking for the event this Saturday at Shafer Park.


"We are very grateful the firefighters decided to open up these spaces for attendees," said Janeen Solberg, a member of the Green Fest Committee, who also serves as chair of the Boonsboro Recycling Task Force, the sponsor of this first-time event Saturday.


In the spirit of the Green Fest, which is free to the public, the fire department will not charge its usual parking fee, but instead will ask for donations from those who park on the lot.


Take your recyclables

to park collection zone

Here is a complete list of the recyclables that will be collected during Green Fest: 

Drive through the Recycling Collection Zone in the parking lot next to the Community Center and drop off all of your recyclables.


Don't forget about the "12 Tons in 4 Hours Challenge" for Washington County residents. The materials being collected in the challenge are: mixed paper/newspapers, aluminum, glass and #1 and #2 plastic containers.


Door prizes as varied

at Green Fest exhibitors

Door prize winners will be announced periodically throughout the Green Fest.


You must fill out a door prize registration form, be at least 18 years old and be present to win. Those are the only rules.


Sign up at the Recycling Task Force tent, near the food pavilion, across the bridge from the Band Stand.


Check out the great prizes:

  • Gifts Inn BoonsBoro: rug made from recycled grocery bags

  • Family Recreation Park: three $10 gift certificates

  • Palettie's Restaurant of Boonsboro: $30 gift card

  • Green Bamboo Quality Skin Care: certificate for a custom facial

  • Ten Thousand Villages: gift bag with cookbook, tea, chocolate and two glasses

  • Ted's Place of Boonsboro: computer tune-up ($85 value)

  • Donna L. Brightman: book, 'Planting Green Roofs & Living Walls'

  • Inn BoonsBoro: one-night stay in any guest room (excludes suites)

  • Claud E. Kitchens Outdoor School at Fairview: rain barrel given to drawing winner at 1 p.m.

  • CARE Services, Inc.: new humidifier

  • Harmony Fresh Cut Flowers & Herbs: lettuce box (garden in window box)

  • Cedar Ridge Soaps: personal care products

  • Body & Soul Fitness: free session of Body & Soul

  • Enkore Kids of Boonsboro: four, $5 gift certificates

  • United Christian Fellowship Church: Longaberger basket with gardening items

  • Lee Daugherty, Personal In-home Trainer: fitness journal, reference manual & consultation gift certificate

  • Images by Kelley Photography: free sitting & 5x7 print

  • Vintage Silver Ware: (tba)

  • Carlhaven Emu Farm: handmade Emu oil soap

  • Recycled Crochet: recycled bag

  • Terry's Auto of Boonsboro: jumper cables

  • Mike & Alice Dixon's Woodenware, Inc. of Brownsville: two solid wood, butcher block cutting boards

  • Citizens for the Preservation of Pleasant Valley: book, 'The C&O Canal Companion'

  • Lilies of the Valley Farm: field clump of daylilies (30-50 plants)

  • Darrell Jones: 'Wrap-n-Mat' reusable sandwich wrapper

  • Younger Toyota: T-shirt

  • Luna Bella Herbals: body cream

  • Thompson ACE Hardware: compost bin

  • Potomac Valley Audubon: summer camp T-shirt

  • SERRV: basket with coffee, chocolate, small craft & ornament

  • Isagenix/Phil Aversa: Isagenix sampler pack

  • Landscape HMO Enterprises: potted, native perennial flower

  • Lydia Oh, Lydia: recycled magnets

  • Hagerstown Trust Co.: $50 bond

  • Susquehanna Bank: tote bag with umbrella, lunch bag & hoodie

Click on numbers to view all of the Hot Topics articles about Green Fest.

Special events

   Kid Zone offers
   storytelling, crafts

   during Green Fest

Youngsters attending the Boonsboro Green Fest will have their own special activities at their own special place.


Thanks to a trio of teachers, a full slate of activities has been planned for children who visit Shafer Park on Saturday, May 9. The program will be conducted in The Kid Zone (Scout pavilion in the southeast section of the park).


At 10 a.m. and again at noon, Liz Nussear will read Just a Dream, a story about how a young boy learns a lesson about all things green when he has a dream. The story was written by noted author Chris  Van Allsburg, who also wrote Polar Express.


From 10:30 a.m. until noon, art teacher Jan Madsen will show youngsters how to "Stamp out Landfills" as they make their own stamp using recycled materials that often end up in the trash, such as buttons, cardboard and Styrofoam. The stamp can be taken home and used to decorate such articles as t-shirts and note cards.


Youngsters will be entertained from 12:30-2:00 p.m. by area school children who will conduct sing-alongs and skits.


Throughout the day, Rosemary James will lead the participants in two ongoing activities: write an individual "Pledge to the Earth" and create a bird feeder from recycled milk cartons. All supplies will be provided, including the birdseed, which is being provided by Thompson ACE Hardware in Boonsboro.


Mrs. James is a founding member of the Boonsboro Recycling Task Force, the host of the Green Fest.


Clothes Swap & Sale

fits Green Fest to a T 

If ever there were a perfect example of how to practice the "3Rs," a clothes swap might take the cake.


The "Gently-Used Clothing Swap & Sale" is being sponsored by the St. James Catholic Church during Green Fest. April Dietrich is serving as chair of the community service project.


"This is a perfect time to practice the 3Rs: reduce, reuse and recycle," says Brigitte Schmidt, who got the idea started at the Boonsboro church, North Main Street and Ford Avenue.


She read on the internet that the new "girls' night out" is the "girls' night in," where participants swap clothing. "What a fun thing to do!" she remembered thinking.


A member of the church's staff and a founding member of the Boonsboro Recycling Task Force, Brigitte proposed holding the clothes swap during Green Fest.


Here's How It Works

Drop off clean, gently-used clothing of any size (infant through adult) at the parish hall, using the Ford Avenue entrance, at the following times:



Items can also be taken to Green Fest on Saturday, May 9, but the volunteers would prefer receiving the clothing in advance so they can sort them into sizes, according to Brigitte.


Clothes should be folded and in bags labeled with the donor's name, she added.


Each item earns a credit for a "new" piece of clothing. Vouchers can be used during the Green Fest. If you do not have a voucher, you may still purchase articles for $1 each. Leftover clothing will be donated to two charities.


Proceeds will be used to fund the Youth Faith Formation, a once-a-week church Bible school for 126 kindergarteners through eighth graders.



Meeting of the minds

GREEN FEST COMMITTEE - Members of the organizing committee celebrate the end of their last business meeting before the festival at the Community Center on Cinco de Mayo (May 5). They are (from left) Kathy Vesely, Barbara Wetzel, Jenny Sarnecki, Rosemary James, Harvey Hoch, Brigitte Schmidt and Laura Schnackenberg. Unable to attend (because she was preparing food for her church's concession booth) was Amy Jones.

Photo by Ana Solberg




Green Fest is time

to donate, recycle


BOONSBORO, Md. (April 1, 2009) - A major goal of Green Fest 2009 is to encourage residents to recycle and reuse. An array of opportunities will be available at the May 9 event at Shafer Park.

Green Fest is sponsored by the Boonsboro Recycling Task Force and is an official event of the Town of Boonsboro.

Did you ever wonder what to do with the old sewing machine that hasn't been dusted off in years? You can take it to the Green Fest and an organization will make sure it goes to a developing country so a young mother can start a sewing business to support her family.


And what about those stacks and stacks of unwanted clothes or that pile of old, smelly sneakers in the corner of the garage? Bag them up and take them to the Green Fest.


You can swap the clothing for something you need at St. James Church's Gently-used Clothing Swap & Sale in Pavilion #1 and you can toss the sneakers into a shoe company's collection bin. Nike grinds down the soles to make running tracks for youngsters.


Transportation vehicles and medical equipment will also be collected by participating organizations. Bikes of the World collects the bikes for distribution in other countries, where a bike might be a family's only mode of transportation (except for walking, of course).


Wheels of the World, on the other hand, collects wheelchairs (non-motorized kind), along with other medical equipment, such as aluminum walkers, canes and crutches to help the injured and disabled be more independent.


Begin gathering up all of your reusable items and plan to take them to the Green Fest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on May 9.


Collecting stations will also be set up for recyclables such as eyeglasses and cases, egg cartons, wire clothes hangers, ink cartridges, cell phones and rechargeable batteries.


Recycling bins will be collecting mixed paper/newspaper, aluminum, glass and plastic (#1 and #2 only) bottles and flattened cardboard of every size.


Recycling challenge:

'Triple the Harvest'


Boonsboro area residents are being challenged to recycle 12 tons in only four hours!


The figures are in for the recycling dumpster located in the south end of Boonsboro; residents recycled four tons per week during February. So, Harvey Hoch thinks Green Fest attendees could triple a week's recycling during the four-hour event.


Who is this Harvey Hoch? He is the Washington County recycling coordinator and he's made these challenges before, in other locales. But he's never made such an ambitious one.


"From what I see, Boonsboro area's recycling numbers keep going up," says Hoch (pronounce Hoke). "I believe if everybody participates, the challenge can be met, going away."


To participate in the challenge, all you have to do is save up your recyclable mixed paper/newspaper, aluminum, glass and plastic (#1 and #2) and transport them to the parking lot next to the Community Center at Shafer Park during Green Fest. 


(These are the same items that are recyclable in the dumpster at the Park-n-Ride at the intersection of Alt. Rt. 40 and Rt. 67 and at other dumpsters throughout Washington County.)


The results will be announced here after all of the recyclables are weighed at the 40 West Landfill, according to Hoch.

The challenge is open to Washington County residents only.


Sign-up deadline extended


Act now to guarantee

spot at Green Fest '09


BOONSBORO, Md. (March 22, 2009) - There is still time for businesses, organizations and individuals to register to participate in Green Fest 2009.


The sign-up deadline has been extended to March 31, 2009.


A wide variety of vendors have already indicated interest in being part of this inaugural event. Many will have eco-friendly products for sale, such as rain barrels, personal care products, cloth diapers, clothing and other items for outdoor activities, and solar energy systems. (Click here for up-to-the-minute list.)


Some of the demonstrations include ways to start vegetable and rain gardens, produce compost for home gardens, make an eco-friendly packed school lunch and make toys from recycled articles. Hybrid automobiles will also be on display.


There also will be oportunities to recycle unwanted materials and items, such as bicycles and usable sewing machines, wheelchairs and walkers, eyeglasses, sneakers and household paper, cans and bottles.


To register for the Saturday, May 9 event, go to Vendors & Exhibitors (Click here) and then click on the "Vendor Information Form" at right. Fill out the form and mail it to the Green Fest Committee chairperson. There is nothing to pay at this time; a confirmation of participation will be mailed.


A $20 refundable registration fee will be charged for each 10-foot by 10-foot space.


Exhibitors must furnish their own tables, chairs and tents, if needed. Free electric service will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis.


For additional information concerning vendors and exhibits, please contact the event's chairperson Jenny Sarnecki (email).

Deadline nears for Green Fest vendors, exhibitors to sign up

The March 20th deadline is fast approaching for vendors wishing to participate in the First Annual Boonsboro Green Fest.


A wide variety of vendors have already indicated interest in being part of this inaugural event. Many will have eco-friendly products for sale, while others will exhibit methods to save energy or grow your own garden.


Organizations and businesses interested in participating in the Saturday, May 9 event, must fill out a Vendor Invitation and mail it by March 20. (Click on Vendors & Exhibitors at top of page.)


Once the committee has reviewed an application, a vendor will receive confirmation of participation, including set-up locations and other pertinent information, and a contract to sign and return.


Participants will be assessed a $20 refundable registration fee for each 10-foot by 10-foot space.


For additional information concerning vendors and exhibits, please contact the event's chairperson Jenny Sarnecki (email) prior to the March 20 deadline.