The Lawrence Earth Day Celebration will be greener than usual this year.
Along with the popular vegan picnic, environmentally minded vendors and free public transit, Saturday’s event at South Park will offer a composting area, where food scraps will be collected and taken to the city of Lawrence’s composting facility. Recycling bins will also be in place.
“It’s something that we haven’t been able to do before,” said Cassandra Ford, a waste reduction and recycling specialist for the city of Lawrence. “Hopefully we will reduce our wastes for the event.”
In its 12th year, the event will have more than 60 exhibitors and include family-friendly activities, live music and food vendors. Ripple Glass representatives will be on hand to talk about the new glass recycling containers scattered throughout the city, Operation WildLife will have some of its rescued birds on display, and Moser LLC will be using its innovative generator that is powered by portable solar panels.
The fair will also feature the popular free, vegan picnic sponsored by Animal Outreach of Kansas.
“We’ve got a lot of different people and organizations that all come at it from their own standpoint. But they all have a very uniform message of what you can do and how you can have a good impact on the environment,” Ford said.
On Saturday, the celebration begins with an Earth Day Parade at 11 a.m. The parade travels east from Watson Park on Seventh Street, then down Massachusetts Street all the way to South Park.
When the parade arrives at South Park, which will be about 11:30 a.m., the celebration begins.
From 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., vendors will be set up to share information about waste reduction, recycling, composting, alternative fuels and vehicles, energy conservation and land, wildlife and habitat preservation.
The Douglas County Water Festival will also be present with interactive and educational activities that emphasize the importance of clean water. At 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., forestry staff from the Parks and Recreation Department will lead a tree identification tour.
In honor of Earth Day, the Lawrence Transit System will offer free rides on the T all day Saturday.