Sustainable Voorhees to host its 1st Green Fair

The program’s Green Team will teach sustainability through games, hunts and more.

Organic face paints, compressed natural gas trucks and T-shirts-turned-shopping-bags will soon occupy the Voorhees Town Center.

This series of sustainable practices comprises Voorhees’ first annual Green Fair, taking place outside the center’s former Macy’s, on Sunday, Oct. 8 from noon to 3 p.m.

On the heels of reaching its Silver Level Certification last year, Sustainable Voorhees, a committee of Voorhees Township and certificate recipient of Sustainable Jersey, which is a nonprofit providing tools, training and financial incentives to support communities as they pursue sustainability programs, is dedicating its 2017 initiative to education and connection.The fair echoes such objectives.

“That’s what we’re really trying to do — create those relationships with the community,” said Marianne Leone, acting chair of the Sustainable Voorhees Green Team and chair of the Green Fair Planning Committee. “And so, people understand what an example of suitability is, because it’s many things.”

Set to the sounds of a new fusion drum ensemble, the foremost feature of the event is two greenwalks, encompassing a scavenger hunt of sustainability. One will weave through the Mall, while the other ventures down the Town Center Boulevard. Before embarking on the educational journey, visitors are given “passports.”

Along the paths, they will approach various stores and restaurants that, in some form, partake in green practices. Iron Hill Brewery, for example, might explain how it disposes of food waste.

“(The greenwalks) really feature organizations that are promoting sustainability and green practices,” Leone said.

Once participants are given green-related “passwords” by business owners, they jot down the phrase in the passports.

Aside from vendors, the stops on the greenwalks include the Arts on the Boulevard autumn exhibit, which will be installed next week, bringing beautification to Town Center by placing all mediums of art in vacant store window fronts.

In their passports, participants will also have to write something sustainable about the creative pieces.

Eventually, the final destination will lead to a raffle and prizes.

Another active engagement will be a rock hunt, derived from the Voorhees Rocks Facebook group. The coalition, which includes 1,330 members, includes children partaking in a network of painting, hiding and finding rocks throughout the township.

Sustainable Voorhees is taking the concept to another level with “Sustainable Voorhees Rocks,” which hosted a rock-painting event for children last week. Using organic paints, the children inscribed messages of sustainability.

“There’s this massive under movement happening where kids are getting out, and this is the tie in with health and wellness,” Leone said, who was last week awarded Camden County Sustainable Champion of the Month. “It’s exercise, so it ties into sustainability.”

At the fair, Leone and her Green Team will scatter the rocks around the Town Center. Children can then search and redeem them for prizes.

When they retrieve the rocks, children will be quizzed on Voorhees’ sustainability efforts and the conservation of species, such as endangered birds in New Jersey.

The greenwalk and rock hunt will be joined by other green activities, such as a making bird feeders, collecting plastic bags and transforming old T-shirts into shopping bags.

Even the Town Center’s beer garden is proving green practices. As a local tap, brew crafters left a small footprint for delivery. And Iron Hill will be televising Eagles game at 1pm, with food and drink specials.

“I hope the fair raises awareness of what sustainability is and shows community connection,” Leone said.