PA Spreads Green Efforts to Downtown Andover

Phillips Academy students brought their efforts to increase awareness about sustainability down Andover hill. Members of Eco-Action volunteered Saturday at the Green Living Fair at Memorial Hall Library in downtown Andover. The students worked at a booth to help educate children about the environment by reading books and offering fun activities. The fair, organized by town library employee Emily Classon, featured booths from national and local organizations, including “Leave No Trace,” an organization that promotes outdoor ethics, the Andover Gardening Club and Whole Foods. Classon said she hoped the fair would provide an opportunity for people to learn about “green” products, services, and initiatives in the area. According to Classon, about 140 people attended the fair, including adults, families and students. Eco-Action learned about the fair through Patricia Russell, Chair of the Department of Natural Sciences and the club’s faculty advisor. The fair is part of a month-long series the library is offering to help the community “go green.” The library is hosting several speakers on this topic throughout the month of October. Kim Kuoch ’09, an Eco-Action board member, said that the fair’s main goal was to show off some environmentally-active groups in the community, as opposed to really teaching others how they could live greener. Co-President of the Energy Resources Awareness Council (ERAC), Jane Thomas ’10, also attended the fair. “As a concerned citizen of planet Earth, environmental sustainability is important to me, so I always want to take advantage of opportunities to learn more about the subject,” she said. “Additionally, I thought the fair might be a good place to meet potential guest speakers for ERAC.” Because most of the children at the fair were already coming from families living green lifestyles, Eco-Action chose not to advocate about the vague topic of “going green,” Kuoch said. Instead, Eco-Action members read environment-themed stories to the children who showed up and entertained them while their parents perused other booths. “We met a little girl whose mom had a booth at the fair, and her parents had house showings for her all-green house,” said Kuoch. Classon said the fair was a success and that she received positive feedback from the visitors and exhibitors at the fair. She said she hopes to turn the environmental series into an annual event. Russell said, “This was a great opportunity to represent our school and to participate in a town-wide event.” Even though the fair was not very academic, both Kuoch and Thomas agree that they learned a lot from a booth about trailmaking. “I learned about several more trails we have here in the Town of Andover,” Thomas said. “As an avid backpacker and hiker, I will undoubtedly take advantage of this new discovery.”