By Erin Crowell
Earth Day may have come and gone this year, but theres still an
opportunity to think green at the second annual GreenFest, which
invites residents and a
rea visitors to learn more about environ-mental products, services and
projects at Traverse Citys Clinch Park, on May 8, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
We like to call it edutainment, says Kim Pontius, executive vice
president of the Traverse Area Association of Realtors (TAAR), one of
the GreenFest sponsors. The event combines educational resources with
entertainment. If people arent having fun, theyre just not
Part of the fun will include kids activities. There will be a kite
building contest using recyclable materials at the open space, as well
as a coloring contest for the younger crowd, and an essay contest for
grades K-12 that answers the question, What do I want my green job to
be when I grow up?
The marina will bring the Northwestern Michigan College Underwater
Studies exhibit, featuring an amphibious vehicle and other underwater
It may not go underwater, but the BAT 11dk Alfa Romeo-style Bertone
will be on display in Clinch Park. This cars design originated in
Traverse City and was shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2008. It
is currently a concept car with plans for a limited production of a
hybrid or hydrogen powered engine.
There will also be two free movies showing at the State Theater that
day: Ice Age 2, at 10 a.m.; and Greensburg: A Story of Community
Rebuilding, produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, at 8 p.m.
Vendors include The Grand Vision, Michigan Windpower, Grand Traverse
Watershed Center, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, Michigan Land Use
Institute, American Waste and many more.
The event also features several guest speakers, including Joel Diotte
and architect Eric Hughes for the first LEED Certified home in Grand
Traverse County at noon; and Reducing Home Energy Costs with TJ
Ewing at 2:30 p.m.
Dont miss The Green Dream with featured speaker John B. Carnett,
photographer and inventor for Popular Science Magazine. Carnett will
his latest projectbuilding a green
family home using leading edge technologyat the Con Foster Building
in Clinch Park,
at 1 p.m.
Ive got a subscription to Popular Science and have been following
Carnetts green home building story; but as he says hes not green,
its just because hes really cheap, Pontius laughs.
Cheap is just one advantage of going green, both in the home and beyond.
NOT JUST FOR HOMEBUYERS
The event is presented by Green Solutions 4a collaboration between
TAAR, the Home Builders Association of Grand Traverse Area (HBAGTA)
and the Michigan Green Consortium.
Pontius adds that the association is learning more all the time about
being green, so educating the public, as well, seemed like a logical
Recently, TAAR added searchable green building program certifications,
ratings and green building features to its Multiple Listing Service
with technological support from the Home Builders Association a
major step in bringing green building into the mainstream.
So is this event for homebuyers and builders only?
Absolutely not, says Matt Dakoske of RE/MAX Bayshore Properties and
TAAR president. Were about educating the public on various
greening issues. Its not about selling houses.
Dakoske and Pontius say they hope the location of the event and time
of year will bring in large numbers.
We learned that people just want to be outdoors this time of year,
The last GreenFest event took place in fall of 2008, and although it
drew up to 500 people to the Hagerty Center, Pontius says the event
could have drawn more.
Its spring, and people usually think green in the spring, he says,
and theyre thinking about home projects.
Our motto is Where Green Meets Blue because we realize nothing can
be done by going green if you dont think about blue. The watershed
is a vital part of our environment and community. Having (GreenFest)
near the water just made sense.
For more information on GreenFest and Green Solutions 4, visit
www.greensolutions4.com. More information on green certified homes and
buildings available in Northern Michigan may be found at www.TAAR.com