(Contributed) Make your own self-portraits as part of the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Art Studio Tour’s 20th anniversary Faces over Fences project at Earth Day in Maple Ridge.

Maple Ridge Earth Day poetry winners announced

Plus plenty of activities for the Maple Ridge Earth Day celebration

Winners of the Earth Day poetry contest have been announced.

Zdena Novy won first place in the adult category for her poem called Garden, and her grandson, Rhys Novy, 6, won first in his age category for his poem called Earthday.

“Rhys’s poem was gentle and bright and got to the heart of why Earth Day is important,” explained poetry contest organizer Ronda Payne, adding that Zdena’s winning entry was an acrostic poem that really fit the theme of Earth Day, “Make It, Grow It, Fix It, Share It.”

Voting for the photography contest will continue until Friday at Celebrate Earth Day 2018 Photo Contest on Facebook.

There are many events taking place at the Maple Ridge Earth Day celebration.

Leanne Koehn, with the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society, is impressed that all of the booths and the different community groups that are participating have really picked up this year’s theme, as well.

At this year’s Earth Day celebration, there will be a freecycle, a food truck festival, electric vehicle display, and a free bike draw by Cycle Recycle.

There will be a special Haney Farmer’s Market in Memorial Peace Park in advance of the market’s regular season opening in May.

Because it is early in the season, there will only be a handful of farmers attending, but those who do will be bringing seedlings.

People will also be able to register for the upcoming free workshops hosted by the Haney Farmers Market, called Soil to Salad, at which specialists in gardening and growing will teach participants how to gather a bountiful harvest from their own backyard, patio or porch.

The first workshop will be held on May 12 and talk about what you need to do to have the right soil for your plants and planting in the right place in the garden for sunshine.

At the Greg Moore Youth Centre, there will be a Repair Café, a pop-up event where residents are invited to bring their broken items like small appliances, jewelry, clothing, small toys or furniture to get help fixing them.

There will be tools and materials available to fix the items and experienced volunteers to help.

There will also be a Tinkerbell corner for children hosted by artist-in-residence Kat Wahamaa, where they can get hands-on with tools, take things apart and explore how they work.

They can also create art with the different parts.

Haney Builder’s Supplies will also be on site handing out sponge hammers to children and water bottles to adults.

It will also be helping children make cardboard toys.

This year, the Freecycle will take place in the preschool room at the Maple Ridge Leisure Centre, where people are welcome to take any of the donated goods, including gently used books, toys and clothes.

The food truck festival will be located on the paved south area of the park along 224 Street.

There will be two stages set up, one by the front steps of The ACT and one in the market area by the bandstand with entertainment from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Market stage entertainment will start with acoustic guitarist Julian Burns.

The welcoming ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m., followed by folk roots band Shades of Green, and then a tai chi flash mob.

Billananee, made up of musicians Julie Cutting and Bryan Venu-gopala Benner, will be taking to the stage at noon, followed by guitarist Jessica Greene, then Holly Krauchi with her ukulele, and finally guitarist Taylor Wilcox. Folk duet Back Alley Still will be performing between acts.

On the ACT stage, entertainment will begin with the folk rock band Chris Horne and Midnight Ridge. There will be a pause for the opening ceremony and they will continue their performance. Wahamaa and Tony Rees of the band Kat and Tony will take to the stage at 11:45 a.m., followed by the folk roots duo Knudson and Connaughton, then there will be another tai chi flash mob.

Billananee will perform at 1 p.m. with guitarist Graham Strang finishing off the Earth Day performances at 1:30 p.m.

Kanaka Education and Environmental Partnership Society (KEEPS) will be celebrating their 25th anniversary at Earth Day.

And the Art Studio Tour will be celebrating their 20th anniversary with the debut of a ceramics project called Faces Over Fences.

“What it’s going to be is a temporary art installation and it is led by the artists from our tour,” explained Kerry McLaren, committee chair for the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Art Studio Tour.

“It’s comprised of an expanding white fence and it is going to be decorated with self portraits made by community members of all ages,” she explained.

“The portraits reflect our belief that art is in the heart of all of us. The fences represent the connectors made when we create with our neighbours, creating together builds strong communities,” continued McLaren.

The project started coming together last summer and kicked off at Kanaka Creek elementary, where students made their self-portraits with clay and then had them fired. The project will be making its rounds throughout the community over the summer, with several different events starting with Earth Day. During the Earth Day celebration people will be able to make a free self portrait with acrylic paint on a fired clay disk.

So far there are 50 portraits for the fence and McLaren is hoping by the time of the projects final showing at Cultural Days in September there will be 200.

Dave Koehn has organized this year’s electric car display. There will be at least one Nissan Leaf, a Smart car, a Kia Soul, a BMW I3 and a Chevy S10 that the municipality of Maple Ridge did a conversion on before the major companies started selling electric vehicles.

There will also be a 2001 hybrid Prius on display.

“One of the other things I’ve got is a 2001 Prius, a hybrid.

“But what we’ve done with it is we’ve set it up so you can use power from that car to power parts of your house for emergency use,” said Koehn, who will be demonstrating that with a lamp and a radio.

All the owners of the vehicles will be at the show, Koehn added.

“I like that idea because they can tell other people what their experience is owning and driving this vehicle,” he said.

In addition Alex Pope will have his Nissan Leaf parked at the charging stations at the north end of Memorial Peace Park and will be offering rides to anyone interested.

At 1 p.m., the Cycle Recycle will be holding a draw for free bicycles.

And Tinkerbell will be part of the roving entertainment along with other characters by Times Past Entertainment.

The Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation is hosting a free Teddy Bear Repair Clinic. Stuffies in need of repair can be brought to the booth in the park to be patched up by the foundation’s ‘nurses.’

Earth Day takes place April 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Memorial Peace Park, downtown Maple Ridge.

• For more information go to mrearthday.ca.


Shades of Green will be performing on the Market stage during Earth Day celebrations in Maple Ridge. (Contributed)

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