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posted: 8/3/2015 4:00 PM

Batavia promotes conservation at Green Fair on the Fox

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  • Participants take part in a free zumba class at last year's Green Fair on the Fox in Batavia.

    Participants take part in a free zumba class at last year's Green Fair on the Fox in Batavia.
    Courtesy of Green Fair on the Fox

  • Batavia's Green Fair on the Fox will feature a variety of eco-friendly vendors and booths along the Riverwalk.

    Batavia's Green Fair on the Fox will feature a variety of eco-friendly vendors and booths along the Riverwalk.
    Courtesy of Green Fair on the Fox

  • Herpetological experts will bring live reptiles to the Green Fair -- some of which visitors can touch.

    Herpetological experts will bring live reptiles to the Green Fair -- some of which visitors can touch.
    Courtesy of Green Fair on the Fox

  • Bike and alternative transportation enthusiasts are encouraged to bring and show off their vehicles at the Green Fair on the Fox.

    Bike and alternative transportation enthusiasts are encouraged to bring and show off their vehicles at the Green Fair on the Fox.
    Courtesy of Green Fair on the Fox

 
By Aaron Walker
awalker@dailyherald.com

Downtown Batavia will look a bit more green this weekend as community members and local businesses gather to promote conservation and environmentalism at the eighth annual Green Fair on the Fox.

"Connecting people falls under very loose interpretation of environmentalism," said Samuel Franzmann, a member of the Batavia Environmental Commission. "But we're connecting business owners who have green practices with people who are seeking out those things."

Local businesses, organizations, and vendors will participate in an eco-marketplace at the Batavia Riverwalk from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, where visitors can shop while learning about environmentalism. The fair will also feature a bike show and alternative transportation show, and the public is encouraged to register and show off a bike or environmentally-friendly mode of transportation.

"It's a great way to bring community together and celebrate our shared ideals in regards to being environmentally friendly," Franzmann said. "We're trying to get a read on what people want and we're finding a way to make it more accessible and give them more information about it."

The commission works with city government on city planning and minimizing the city's carbon footprint. It also hosts a number of pro-conservationist events throughout the year, the Green Fair being the largest.

Franzmann said he prioritizes environmentalism in his volunteering as a necessary contrast to his professional industry.

"I like to think of it as kind of a yin to my yang in other parts of life," Franzmann said. "I'm an IT (information technologies) guy by trade. I have my own IT company and it's a very difficult industry to be green in. But still, the environment is very important to me and my kids; this is how I engage that ideal in my life."

Kids will find no shortage of activities at the fair. There will be a reptile show, hands-on activities, the Fox Valley's largest Zumba class and live music. The Boy Scouts of America will display its environmental philosophy at several booths.

"We want to promote how Scouts have been ecologically minded for over 100 years, how they really promote keeping the earth healthy," said Suzy Sitarski of Batavia, a Fox Valley District committee member for BSA who will be attending for the second year.

Cub and Boy Scouts plan to teach spectators a number of upcycling techniques that reuse waste like plastic bottles and cardboard tubes.

"Last year was awesome," Sitarski said. "We had lot of people interested in what we do, how we're related to conserving and the environment, but even more than that, we had a lot of young boys interested in joining and helping out at the fair."

Robin Soderquist, a recreation supervisor with the Batavia Park District, said along with planning, the park district will be assisting in the educational process.

"We'll have a learning sheet to show people how our vehicles run on biodiesel fuel," Soderquist said. "We'll also have a scavenger hunt so people can go from booth to booth and find out what makes each of them green."

She said just about every booth has a connection to conservation and really values the ideology behind the fair.

"I just think we need to take care of the earth and keep it moving forward for the next generation," Soderquist said.

Visit www.greenfaironthefox.com for a complete list of events at the fair.

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