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Cool Kids ECO-Fest commemorates 40th anniversary of Earth Day

By Billie Owens

The fifth annual Cool Kids ECO-Fest will take place at Genesee Community College from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, April 17 at the Batavia Campus.

The college's Earth Club, Student Activities Office and College Village are once again joining Cool Kids to collectively produce a fun-filled, yet educational event aimed at increasing awareness of important environmental issues and opportunities.

ECO-Fest 2010 will commemorate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day with special activities. All portions of the event are free and open to the public. Most of the festival takes place in the central Forum or Clocktower Plaza. ECO-Fest is part of several activities celebrating Earth Day throughout Genesee County this month.

Cool Kids ECO-Fest 2010 includes numerous exhibits, presentations, activities and prizes, and is an ideal experience for anyone interested in celebrating Earth Day. Hundreds of people of all ages are expected to attend. Many of the prior year's favorite environmental fun and educational opportunities will return, with a wide assortment of new options as well. Through active participation in ECO-Fest activities, attendees increase their chances of winning a variety of prizes, including the Grand Prize – an Adam Miller Toys and Bike's Mountain Bike, at the finale of ECO-Fest. (All winners must be present at ECO-Fest to win.)

New to this year's celebration is a paperback book drive for American troops through the Operation Paperback program. Participants can bring in paperback books to be recycled and sent to service men and women. Along with paperback books, ECO-Fest attendees should also bring in old sneakers to be recycled for Nike's Reuse-A-Shoe recycling program which recycles old sneakers into Astroturf. Attendees can also bring in old electronic devices for the E-Scrap drive. The E-Scrap drive collects residential electronics such as computers, monitors, cell phones, calculators, etc. There will be drive-up curbside collecting for community members who wish to drop off their old, unwanted E-Scrap free of charge. (There is a $5 charge for any television sets dropped off.)

Community residents are encouraged to participate in the Earth Day Eco-Tip Illustration Contest to graphically illustrate their favorite Eco-Tip. There are no age or creativity limits, and entries can be individual or group efforts.

Participants can use the form provided at <> or use their own paper. Entries can be brought to ECOFest on April 17 or can be submitted to: Genesee Community College, Attn: Donna Rae Sutherland / MarCom Office D110, One College Road, Batavia, NY 14020.

All entries must be received by 11 a.m. on April 17. Each submission will receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win a mountain bike from Adam Miller Toys. One winner and honorable mentions will be awarded at ECO-Fest.

"We have some fantastic events planned for this year's Eco-Fest, which we decided to move to a weekend date to accommodate the expanding crowds and presentations," Sutherland said. "Each year gets better than the last and we're excited to be commemorating the 40th anniversary of Earth Day."

She is the associate director of Marketing Communications at Genesee and advisor for the Earth Club.

Other Earth Day celebrations happening in Genesee County later in the month include:

City of Batavia Earth Day Celebration
9 a.m. to Noon, Saturday, April 24
Austin Park (behind Batavia City Post Office)

Genesee County Earth Day Celebration
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 24
Dewitt Recreation Area (115 Cedar St., Batavia) and at Genesee County Park and Forest (Bethany Center Road, East Bethany

For further information contact Sutherland at 343-0055, ext. 6616.

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