OurWaterWebs spent yesterday at the Health and Wellness Fair at Stark State Collegehanging out with businesses, organizations, and community members with an interest in a healthy citizenry. One major lesson learned from all this tabling – we really need a better display set up! Another (heartwarming) lesson – there are a TON of people working together to create a healthy community!
I talked to Marissa, the Huff Run Watershed & Mud Run Watershed Coordinator, and her partner in crime for the day (I wish I could remember his name – he has great ideas for documentaries!). I also talked to my personal local organic produce provider from Creekview Ridge Farm. I visited with the gentleman from Stark County Health Department and we discussed everything from septic systems to the breakdown of the various divisions at the health department (If you think about it, having one person cover the food AND septic divisions is utilizing my favorite whole systems approach! In one end … out the other)
We also reconnected with Julie Berbari, Urban Resource Coordinator at Stark County’s Soil and Water Conservation, and Wendy Bullock, Education Specialist at STW Joint Solid Waste Management. Both Wendy and Julie have been community partners in our Environmental Media program, and yesterday was the first time Wendy saw the documentary she appeared in!
I also met one of my favorite new connections, and a hopeful new community partner for Environmental Media – Sara Starr of Foxfield Preserve. This is a project of The Wilderness Center, and is a green burial project where people can choose a natural burial that is better for the environment. Apparently there is a growing movement across the country for this service – which is nice, because I was at a total loss as to how to handle this final aspect of life.
There were TONS of other people we connected with, including the Bicycle Club, Aultman Hospital, Total Health and Wellness, Upper Tuscawarus Watershed, and more. I hope I haven’t forgotten anyone, and if I have, please forgive my oversight!
Apart from connecting with the other vendors, there was also interaction with the various Stark State students that meandered their way around the room. I was lucky to have Isa with me (Great Dane Service Dog) – she made for an awesome icebreaker, and really got their attention. Unfortunately, holding that attention after moving the conversation to environmental topics was a little more difficult. Not impossible however! We talked about the water sampling project, and EVERYONE is looking forward to seeing those results, and we went over the Environmental Media class – what it is, how it pertains to each of them individually, and how they can get involved. There were multiple students that had decided to look into the crossover program and to come take the class. We also had a visit from Oakwood Middle School students, and some of the students were very interested in what we are doing to with media and the environment.
Of course, I completely forgot to take my camera, so I got 3 quick snaps with my webcam. Feel free to check them out on the Facebook page!
Thanks again to Stefanie Smith and Maureen Wise from Stark State for helping to corral us to this event! We look forward to collaborating some more very soon!