Fairfield, you are invited!

“What is the next greatest version of your life, your community, the region and the nation?” asks keynote 2012 EcoFairfield speaker Seth Braun.  That’s what last year’s EcoFair organizers asked ourselves last year.  We learned from our local workshop presenters that there is a wealth of expertise, passion, and practical home-based sustainability in Fairfield and regionally. We learned from the Fairfield Volunteer Center’s weatherization projects and Interact’s Sunnybrook garden project that community service is fun, meaningful, bridges generations, and generates friendships.  At the Growing Food and Justice Conference in Wisconsin we discovered that community building and sustainability education can be seamlessly merged, and that culture, art, agriculture, and food are all integral.  We knew that community meant connecting diverse perspectives, because if the “choir is preaching to the choir,” the choir is missing out on learning, growth, and new relationships.  With so many fantastic organizations, projects, and people here, it seemed like the best route was to come together and get to know our neighbors.

by Werner Elmker

You’re invited this April 20th-22nd to Fairfield, Iowa for “EcoFairfield”. Bring your shovel, your business card, your story and most importantly your passion and vision! EcoFairfield is a new idea: a community organized, community-supported, and community-wide event themed to “Serve, Connect, Inspire.” It is a cross-organizational project that includes the Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield Volunteer Center, Fairfield Rotaract, myLocal Cooperative, City of Fairfield, Dharma Foundation, Bonnell Building Project, and Iowa State Extension with more partnerships developing.

“One of the many partnerships that have come together for Ecofairfield is a group to plant in upwards of 300 6-foot trees around the community,” explains James Schleppenbach. The project is funded through an energy grant from Alliant Energy.  Shade trees as well as fruit and nut trees for community orchards will be planted. James’ initial “Day of Service” concept focused on bringing together students from Fairfield Public Schools, Maharishi School, and MUM for an afternoon of community volunteering, but it quickly evolved into a coalition working with the City’s tree planting and several other events. RSVP here http://www.facebook.com/events/350672824976142/.

Green Vendor's Fair 2011
Green Vendor's Fair 2011

Saturday we invite you to enjoy the abundance of Fairfield.  Your weekly Indoor Farmers Market is 8am-2pm at the Senior Center.  9am-4pm, the Green Vendors’ Sale (http://www.facebook.com/events/409948079031068/) and Green Career Jobs Fair (http://www.facebook.com/events/406619692688100/)  will fill Fairfield Convention Center Expo Hall and meeting rooms. Discover eco-friendly goods, local cottage industry expertise, and global connections.  Explore green jobs, internships, business opportunities, and local non-profits dedicated to education and service.

Green Jobs Fair 2011
Green Jobs Fair 2011

Workshops, presentations, and documentaries all day Saturday and on Sunday afternoon will offer a broad range of knowledge and experience you can apply to day-to-day sustainability.  Enjoy walking or biking the Spring streets as you visit the Fairfield Convention Center, Fairfield Public Library, the old St. Mary’s schoolhouse, and MUM campus, where you can tour the new Sustainable Living Center.

Local or regional speakers and workshop hosts include Fred Kirschenmann from the Leopold Center; Stuart Valentine, green asset management; Christian Renaud from StartupCity Des Moines; Michael Cook, a former organizer of the Village Building Convergence in Portland, Oregon; Francis Thicke, author, sustainable agriculture expert, and founder of Radiance Dairy; Maryan Hesse, an Amazon forest ambassador; Scott Morris, Founder of myLocal Cooperative; and Nick Campney from One-Hundred Trees.  Most presentations will be free; a few workshops may require $2-10 donations to help cover costs of materials.  A schedule including costs will be here online the first week of April.

EcoJam 2011
EcoJam Fashion Show 2011

Saturday night culminates in the annual ECOjam Fashion Show at 7pm in St. Mary’s School House. Twelve designers will each present a line consisting of recycled, vintage, or organically and sustainably manufactured materials. Local artists are also invited to showcase their art! (Artists contact: gracehartnett@gmail.com) Tickets go on sale at April’s Art Walk in front of the Beauty Shop and at the ECOjam door. For more information click here: http://www.facebook.com/events/312749835455771/.

Sunday morning is reserved for appreciating the spirit of rest, worship, and family. The early afternoon features a Community Swap, Kidz Corner, Food Drive, and workshops before the event’s grand finale at Chataqua park, where the Hometown Rewards BBQ and tree planting will be complemented by Seth Braun facilitating a community conversation on envisioning the next best version of Fairfield.

Revelations Bookstore and Cafe
by Werner Elmker

Stay up to date and help us get the word around by visiting our blog and subscribing for updates at ecofairfield.wordpress.com, or like us at facebook.com/ecofairfield. Please direct questions, suggestions, and volunteer interest to Minca Borg: borgs108@gmail.com
Or come join us for an evening of Green Drinks, networking, and fun this Friday evening at Revelations http://www.facebook.com/events/389870794357499/.

EcoFairfield 2012
Serve. Connect. Inspire.
Because our locals are awesome!