Friday, March 26, 2010

Berlin Spring Celebration Goes Green with GBG

Grow Berlin Green has taken its mission to establish Berlin as a model community for environmental protection, conservation and smart growth and put the concept into real projects that will have an a real and lasting on the community.

On April 3, Grow Berlin Green, along with the Berlin Main Street Program, is sponsoring this year's Berlin Chamber of Commerce Spring Celebration.

The event will include the same fun entertainment as previous years, including the pig races, Easter bonnet parade and egg hunt, but will also feature an environmental twist.

This year the event will also celebrate flowers, plants and green ideas. Free seedlings will be given out by the town of Berlin and the Chamber of Commerce will be passing out free seed packets for vegetables and plants. Some of the vendors will feature natural products or green services and one booth will be sponsored by a local landscaper who hopes to decorate the town with beautiful native plants and flowers.

Children who participate in the Easter Bonnet Contest and Parade can make theirs from home using recycled materials, which is a new category in the contest. It's a great way for children to learn that items once thought of as disposable can actually have other uses. For a detailed schedule of all the Spring Celebration festivities, click HERE.

Additionally, after months of effort on the part of GBG and the town leaders, businesses in downtown Berlin will soon have access to a free recycling service for their glass, plastic, metal and paper waste.

GBG and the Berlin Main Street Program have partnered to purchase a large multi-compartment container for recyclables, and the owners of the Globe have generously offered to site the container behind the restaurant.

Earlier this month town officials reached an agreement with Worcester County on a pickup fee. Next up, GBG will now coordinate with the town, the Main Street Program and the Berlin Chamber of Commerce to educate businesses about the new service and encourage all businesses to participate. The container could be in place as early as May.

This is a true breakthrough and GBG should be applauded for playing such an important role in making it happen.

To highlight the importance of energy conservation, this spring GBG will be giving away free CFL light bulbs to students at Stephen Decatur High School and Middle School, and Berlin Intermediate School students. This giveaway will hopefully encourage the parents to purchase these energy saving light bulbs in the future. GBG purchased some of the bulbs, while others were donated by local businesses.

In an effort to spread the word about the group's efforts, and to educate and mobilize citizen action, as well as promote various Berlin activities and events, last week GBG began a major public service announcement campaign on Public Radio Delmarva.

This type of outreach, which reaches thousands, is invaluable to a small community such as Berlin and it's a very exciting initiative.

Managed by a coalition of the Maryland Coastal Bays Program, the Lower Shore Land Trust and the Assateague Coastal Trust, Grow Berlin Green is driven by community education, empowerment and action.

The success of this program depends on the commitment of Berlin citizens, businesses owners, educators, students and policy makers. It seems clear that GBG has worked with all of the above to make the town of Berlin a better place to live, work and visit.

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