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Earth Day brings out kites, cars

April 22, 2001

Earth Day brings out kites, cars



By STACEY DANZUSO / Staff Writer, Chambersburg


WAYNESBORO, Pa. - From preservation groups to electric cars and farming co-ops, every Earth-friendly idea imaginable was represented at Renfrew Institute's annual Earth Celebration Day Sunday.

The converging of "green" groups and practices is an annual event at Renfrew Park in Waynesboro, and routinely draws hundreds of visitors interested in learning how to protect the environment, said Melodie Anderson-Smith, director of Renfrew Institute for Cultural and Environmental Studies.

Mark and Beth Dunn, of Scotland, Pa., said they're going to explore Community Supported Agriculture Farms, an idea they learned about from the South Central Farmers Market Association display.

"Residents pay a set fee to the farmer and are eligible to pick up a certain share of farmer's product," said James P. Smith, vice president of the association

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"It's like going to the grocery store but skipping the middle man," Beth Dunn said. "This way you know where your food comes from."

Smith said the nonprofit organization is helping local farmers sell directly to the public through farmers' markets and the community-farming groups.

He said the Southgate Farmers Market will return for its second year at the Chambersburg shopping center on June 2. It will run every Saturday into the fall, he said.

The Dunns, and their children, Tommy, 11, and Alex, 7, were also impressed with the hybrid cars Toyota and Honda had on display Sunday.

The cars are half gas-powered and half electric-powered, reducing emissions on the Toyota Prius by as much as 75 percent while improving gas mileage.

Mike Lavrenchik, a sales consultant from Younger Toyota in Hagerstown, brought two of the cars to Renfrew Sunday where he was met with enormous interest.

He said the hybrid engine Toyotas need to be ordered and take about five months to come in.

Al DePaolo, a salesman at Antrim Way Honda in Greencastle, Pa., said the cars are in high demand.

The Honda hybrid model is a great commuter car, getting 60 to 70 miles per gallon, he said.

Anderson-Smith said she expected about 500 people would stop by throughout the day and view the more than 30 exhibits and take part in the children's kite fly.

"The crowd is big and interested," she said. "I'm very, very happy to have people involved with learning about the environment and how to live better."

Sharon Freeman, of Waynesboro, brought her daughter, Anissa, 8, to the Earth Celebration Day for the first time and took away an important message.

"If we don''t take care of the Earth, who will?" she asked.

Freeman said she also picked up a lot of new information on recycling from the exhibitors.

Among those was All-Shred, a mobile document destruction business.

The two-year-old Middletown, Md., business travels throughout the region to shred confidential documents and then recycles the paper, said Peggy Hoff, office manager.

"We're tying to get things out of the landfill and help Mother Earth, while helping people protect their privacy," Hoff said.

The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Alliance was one of several new groups at the celebration spreading its message and recruiting new members.

At seven months old, the agency is already 135,000 members strong, said Bob Clark, a staff member.

The group aims to foster conservation and protect wildlife, habitat resources and the National Forest System.

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