Never Too Late

Although Mother Nature has once again refused to cooperate, the Jamestown Community College Earthfest celebration went off without a hitch indoors.

In keeping with the college’s commitment to sustainability, the annual event was held at the Hamilton Collegiate Center’s student union Wednesday.

Students had an opportunity to meet exotic creatures from around the world, and learn how to care for the planet; while many local vendors and organizations were available to provide information on their services, display their wares and educate students about Earth-friendly products and methods of sustainability. A tree seedling adoption was also made available by donations from the Chautauqua County Soil and Water Conservation District.

The event was sponsored by JCC’s Earth Awareness club, which receives its funding from the student senate and the college programming committee.

According to Janis Bowman, associate professor of biology, the event has grown since its beginning in the 1990s.

“The premise is to the celebrate Earth Day,” Bowman said. “And at JCC, Earth Day has become Earth Week, which has become Earth Month. So as we get into March and move into April, we have an Endangered Earth series of films that we start showing to gear up for the culmination – which is the Earthfest event.”

Bowman said this year’s event emphasized the importance of buying locally produced organic food and goods. She said the number of Earthfest vendors has grown significantly in recent years, and more opportunities for participation are being made available all the time.

“We’ve got over 30 vendors here today, and we’re always reaching out to potential vendors. It always shifts and changes a little bit, but we always have the same general theme. They have to have something that’s Earth-friendly, and something that sends a message or is educational about sustainability,” she said.

Vendors and organizations present at this year’s Earthfest included the Jamestown Audubon Society, Jamestown Renaissance Corporation for Grow Jamestown, Roots & Wings Family Farm, Mike’s Nursery Outlet, the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy and Mike Morton’s petting zoo.

The event featured music by local singer, songwriter and acoustic guitarist Matt Maloof – who has performed throughout the region. Through JCC’s collaboration with Roger Tory Peterson Institute, there was also a live bird presentation given by Mike Dupuy, a falconry expert.

In conclusion of Earth Week, there will be a tree-planting ceremony on the sidewalk behind the physical education complex Friday at 12:45 p.m.