Sustainability Expo slated for next Saturday
By Kathryn Purcell
Puppets, power and preservation – all are just a part of the upcoming Sustainability Expo, an effort by local groups, organizations and businesses to help educate the Morgan County community of how to become better “Stewards for the Earth.”
“Stewardship – that’s the whole concept behind this,” Mary McCauley, president of the Madison-Morgan Conservancy, said. “As citizens of Morgan County, we need to be better stewards.”
Sponsored by the Madison-Morgan Conservancy, Church of the Advent, Madison-Morgan Cultural Center and HunkerDowns Fresh Market, the Sustainability Expo is set for Saturday, September 27 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Cultural Center, 434 South Main Street in Madison.
With the theme of stewardship in mind, the expo will include representatives from local businesses and organizations that provide some sort of sustainable product or service.
“The important thing for this expo is the resources, to let people know what’s out there,” Elizabeth Branch, of the Conservancy and the Church of the Advent, said.
Those to be represented include Farm Bureau in the “Agricultural Preservation” category; GeoLoop and Phelps Heating and Air in “Geothermal Heating and Air Conditioning;” Hall Smith Office, Athens Emerging Green Builders and Rialto Property Partners in “Green Architecture;” the Community Foundation for Morgan County, Georgia Interfaith Power and Light and USDA Rural Energy for America Program as “Grantors for Implementing Sustainable Technologies;” The Old Friends and the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation in “Historic Preservation;” the Georgia Land Conservation Program in “Land Conservation Tools;” Morgan County and Keep Morgan Beautiful in “Recycling;” Sun Solar Systems in “Solar Power;” Branch Timberlands, Inc. and the Georgia Forestry Commission in “Sustainable Forestry;” and rain barrels and water smart landscaping and native plants in “Landscaping.”
“In Morgan County, we have clean air, clean water, high quality agricultural land; we’re an agricultural community,” Chris McCauley, of the Madison-Morgan Conservancy, said. “Explaining to people about these resources is the key to this expo. We also wanted to bring together the intellectual property, the people who actually do this.”
Another aspect of sustainability, money also plays a role in what sponsors hope attendees will gain from the expo. So the theory goes that if county residents are educated about what resources are available to them, they are more likely to keep their money in the county. Further, agricultural land is more profitable, according to Mary and Chris.
“As mom likes to say, cows don’t go to school or to jail,” Chris said.
Aside from the previously mentioned vendors at the Sustainability Expo, there will be several tables with local produce and horticulture for sale, as well as one table offering up organic bug spray.
The Steffen Thomas Museum of Art will be displaying “Recycled Sculpture” art made by children earlier that day at their monthly workshop.
And, at 10:30 a.m. in the Cultural Center’s Auditorium, the “Woopets,” life-size puppets, will perform a show, “Echoes of Eco.” The one-hour show focuses on the idea of ecology and the environment.
“It’s an original play about animals and their role,” Patricia DuBose, marketing director of the Cultural Center, said.
The show is highly interactive and, while children will enjoy it, DuBose believes adults will as well. After the show concludes, audience members will be led down to the expo by the Woopets.
It is the hope of the sponsors that the Sustainability Expo will be well-received, and well-attended, as it is a chance for Morgan County residents to get out and learn what environmentally sustainable resources are available here at home.
“We need to be as conscious as we can as a community, and we need to do it now,” Mary said. “‘Think globally, act locally.’ That’s what we’re doing.”