Learning Garden Lab hosts an Earth Day Fair

INCLUDES EARTH DAY VIDEO | See how this fun family East Portland event has grown …

At the Earth Day Fair welcome table, in the Learning Gardens Laboratory,  we found PSU Grad student Kris Jensen and PSU Learning Garden Lab Senior Capstone student Dolly Niederlander.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The annual Earth Day Fair returned to the Learning Gardens Laboratory (LGL), across the street from Lane Middle School, in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood, on Saturday, April 22.

Canopies had sprung up around the garden, shading exhibitors, craft areas, and a food stand; families were taking advantage of the pleasant spring weather strolling about the area.

She’s glad that the Earth Day Fair is “back, in fine form”, says organizer and LGL Faculty Coordinator Sybil Kelley.

“It feels like were up to full capacity after the pandemic,” observed LGL Faculty Coordinator Sybil Kelley, an assistant professor in the Leadership for Sustainability Education Program at Portland State University.

“Last year, we were able to bring back a smaller version of the fair; but now we’ve returned to being able to invite the whole community into the Garden,” Kelley told East Portland News.

Guests stroll about the LGL grounds, learning from the many exhibitors present about climate change and sustainable gardening.

Enjoying a snack alfresco, is the Mulder family, visiting from Oregon City.

The 25 attractions at the fair included arts and crafts and many activities for kids. “We have several organizations here that are focused on climate change, sustainable gardening, waste reduction – in addition to offering a book and a clothing exchange – and a lot of different things are all at this one event,” observed Kelley.

In addition to the students and faculty helping out, the fair was presented by some 30 volunteers from the community, and exhibitor organizations.

Watch highlights of this Earth Day Celebration:

“Hosting this fair is important to the mission of LGL, because here we focus on education for all,” explained Kelley.

“Here, institutions of higher education are working alongside kindergarten through 12th grade students,” Kelley continued. “We have a reciprocal relationship with the neighborhood and the community.”

These guests enjoy making “Earth Day Head Wreaths” from materials gathered from the LGL farms.

Helping out with the plant sale, it’s Portland State University undergrad senior intern at LGL Annabelle Winking – who’ll be graduating with a degree in psychology!

“Our Earth Day Fair is a way to ‘give back’ by having this free event, open to everyone,” Kelley went on. “Best thing for me about this event is – relationships! Being in the community; being around some really amazing people. It’s great.”

Discover more about the Learning Gardens Laboratory by visiting their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2023 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

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