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Leave winter behind, welcome the new green earth

WAYNESBORO - Renfrew Institute’s 26th annual Earth Celebration Day and Festival of Art, scheduled from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 30, at Renfrew Park, 1010 E. Main St, Waynesboro, promises a full day of discovery, education, music and art.

Admission is free and everyone is welcome. 

The celebration includes dozens of exhibitor displays featuring everything from gardening and geology to eco-friendly products and services. Held in conjunction with the event, the 11th annual Recycle/Reuse Yard Sale is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the picnic area of the park. 

At 1 p.m., Renfrew Institute’s Environmental Artistry Award will be presented, followed by an Earth Day proclamation from Franklin County Commissioners.  

Several new activities are on tap for this year’s event. Storytellers Larry Hayes and Fanny Crawford will entertain children and adults at 12:30 p.m. Hayes, a retired environmental educator, works with children’s summer camps and residential environmental programs in Vermont. 

Crawford, originally from Philadelphia and now of Hagerstown, Maryland, travels the mid-Atlantic region telling historical narratives, folk tales, tall tales and original stories. 

Also new this year, kids can create artworks in clay when the Nicodemus Center for Ceramic Arts launches its weeklong pottery festival with children’s clay activities, a special display, and pottery sales.

And for the first time, the Antietam Watershed Association (AWA) will hold its annual Duck Derby fundraiser during the Earth Day event. Ducks will swim at 2:30 p.m. from the footbridge. Contact AWA at 717-762-9417 for information about sponsoring a duck in the race.

For those willing to dig in the dirt, volunteers are welcome to help remove invasive plants and to plant native species with biologist Doris Goldman from 10:30–11:30 a.m. Volunteers should meet on the Edmajoda Trail at sign post 2. 

The Waynesboro Shade Tree Commission will repeat last year’s tree planting with an opportunity to participate in the ceremonial watering of the new tree. 

In addition to environmental exhibits and activities, area artists will display, demonstrate and sell their works during the Festival of Art. These include a variety of fine art, jewelry, photography, basketry, garden art, pottery and more. Earth themes will be in the spotlight. 

“The goal is to promote the concept that art, in its many forms, reflects our need to celebrate the earth and its life through artistic expression,” said Melodie Anderson-Smith, institute executive director, in a press release announcing the event. 

Slim Harrison returns this year with his “Good Time Mountain Music.” Kids can use Slim’s handmade instruments or bring their own to play along as part of the Sunnyland Band.

More music making will be on hand when artist and musician Patric Schlee of EarthSong Studio leads a drum circle from 3–4 p.m. “Bring your drums, flutes, guitars, or a didgeridoo—any instrument—or use those provided,” Anderson-Smith said. 

A food stand will offer hot dogs, beverages, baked goods and other items for sale, and attendees may picnic in the park. Proceeds benefit the institute.

The Franklin Co. Commissioners and Washington Township Supervisors are sponsoring free personal document shredding from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Washington Township Office Parking Lot, beside the Welty Road entrance to Renfrew Park. There is a limit of 10 bags or boxes per person, and the following items cannot be processed: newspapers, 3-ring binders, carbon paper, film, metal, cardboard, trash or heavy plastics. 

In the spirit of recycling, several area groups are collecting items for re-use or proper disposal. The Lions Club will collect used eyeglasses, the Lioness Club will collect cell phones, and Summitview Elementary School will collect used printer cartridges (no copy toner cartridges please). 

Again this year, CFAR/Waynesboro Running organizers are collecting “gently used running shoes” to support the Waynesboro Area Middle School running team. Even worn-out athletic shoes are of value, as Barbara Layman and Steve Smith will collect them for recycling by Nike.

Parking is available next to the visitors center and in the lower lot off Welty Road. If it rains, the event will move to Waynesboro Area Middle School. For more information call the institute at 717-762-0373 or visit