Ashley Healey paints a stone for her garden at the Concord Family Network table. Photo by Laurie O'Neill

Cooler Concord festival features gardening advice, freebies, and fun

April 20, 2024

By Laurie O’Neill — Correspondent

If you wanted to hear the status of the Hanscom expansion plan or learn about the benefits of eating organic food, growing native plants, or cycling, Saturday’s Cooler Concord Climate Festival was the place to be.

Some 28 local groups participated in the event, and dozens of volunteers and organization employees welcomed visitors who could pick up a free pollinator kit, tree seedling, or flower seeds while their children gravitated to craft tables and climate education games.

A craft table with natural materials at the festival. Photo by Laurie O’Neill

Under a huge suspended wire dragonfly, Isabel Bailey of the Concord Pollinator Health Advisory Committee discussed the dangers of using chemicals to control ticks and mosquitoes.

Nearby, Susan Huyett and her husband, James Lidgard, displayed handmade knitwear and provided information about Hutchins Farm.

Andrea (left) and Laura Ferrucci and their sons Marc, 9, (left) and Eric, 6, with the boys’ craft projects. Photo by Laurie O’Neill

Melissa Nowitz and her daughter Sofie answered questions about Concord’s water supply while Joyce DeGreef was at the Communities Organizing Against Racism table, offering reading materials on climate change and racial justice.

The festival experienced its own climate issue when rain dictated a last-minute move from the Concord Free Public Library to the Concord-Carlisle High School gym.

Though Laura Davis of Mothers Out Front, one of the festival’s sponsors, rued the change of venue from the busier downtown location, she was happy that so many visitors were flocking to the exhibits.

“We all have unique skills and talents and can play a role in fighting climate change,” Davis said.

“I feel very hopeful that we can meet the challenge.”