This past weekend, I helped out at the Recycled Arts Festival. In its fifth year, the event was bigger and better than ever. The event is sponsored by the Clark County Department of Environmental Services. Artists came from all over to display and sell their wares at Esther Short Park this past weekend. All products were made using recycled materials. The works of art were all unique and included metal garden art, airplanes made from soda or beer cans, fine wood furniture from wood pallets, bags and baskets made from plastic bags, and beads made from beer and wine bottles. And that's just a few examples. One vendor made hand bags from recycled chip bags. You know, the ones that never go away. Ever. He actually collected chip bags from the Student Environmental Leadership Forum (See blog, May 4, 2010) and displayed the bag at his booth during the festival.
In addition to the artists selling their wares, a tent called 'Tossed and Found' was set up and run by Waste Connections. Beginning months prior to the festival, staff collected items that were dropped off at the transfer station. The items were all in great shape and some were even brand new, still in the box. They included furniture, grills, golf clubs, dishes, and tools. Anyway, people wanting an item received a ticket. When their number was pulled, they got in line to pick out an item for free. All these items would have otherwise ended up in the landfill. Needless to say, this event was very popular with the crowds.
Throughout the festival, bands performed on stage, puppets and a stiltwalker paraded through the park and entertained young and old alike. Events for the kids were plentiful as well, including making their own puppet out of recycled materials and a birds of prey show in which kids and adults learned about wildlife conservation. They also got to get pretty close to a red-tailed hawk, a falcon, and screech owl. This whole event is a great way to educate and encourage the public to reduce waste by reusing and recycling. Or as some say, upcycling.
Why is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, specifically our office, involved in an event such as this? Simple. We have a policy stating that we will participate in recycling programs in an effort to conserve natural resources and protect the environment. Makes sense to me.
Check out the website for the recycled arts festival and be sure to put it on your calendar for next year.