Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Life

August 4, 2013

SHADES OF GREEEN: What can we do to make the fair sustainable into the future?

I went to the fair four times.

I sold tickets on the first day to help out the Chandler Family Staff Organization.

I rode the Freak Out on Kids Day.

I hung out at the Merry Lea booth at the Green Earth Education Day on Friday. My grad students were surveying fairgoers on their environmental literacy and comparing it to the national average they read about in the article titled “Environmental Literacy in America: What 10 Years of NEETF/Roper Research and Related Studies Say about Environmental Literacy in the U.S.”

We have discovered that the Elkhart County fairgoer has a higher score than the national average!

On Saturday I talked with people at the Young McDonald Farm about Hens for Goshen and the idea of changing the animal ordinance in the city to allow six hens in our backyard.

I attended the demolition derby with some friends who waited five hours in the grandstand reserving our seats. They love to watch and experience the craziness!

I ate a lime cone, a raspberry cone and a custard cone.

I was/am amazed at the love shown through more than $1 million given to the 4-Hers for their care of their animals.

My son is part of the Kind Clovers and won a red ribbon for his miscellaneous craft.

But using the eyes of the columnist of the Shades of Green I was dismayed by the vast amount of trash, the limited recycling, the enormity of smoke billowing and the lack of thinking of its mission in certain arenas.

According to it’s 4-H Facebook page, the mission states: “The Elkhart County 4-H Fair and its facilities were established, expanded and are to be maintained to enhance and encourage family and youth programs that promote the principles expressed in the 4-H Creed: Head, Heart, Hands, and Health.

“Year-round activity, economic development, and increased community involvement are the base for continued pursuit of our purposes and ideals.

“Through participation in programs of leadership, education, agriculture, citizenship, character development and entertainment we will work to enrich the quality of life for family and community.”

Amen! And I see all of that!

And then the volunteer spirit, which is tremendous, must be encouraged in all ways to continue the traditions, pride and achievements of the fair. Three thousand volunteers!!!

My wife volunteered six days taking tickets for her Delta Theta Tau.

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