For the past four years, the Ardmore Initiative has been sponsoring the Ardmore Blossoms Festival, which cheered on a cleaner and greener Ardmore while promoting local businesses, crafters, and organizations.
Last year, State Rep. Tim Briggs created a similar event held on the Merion Green of Bryn Mawr College. This year, Christine Vilardo, executive director of The Ardmore Initiative, approached Briggs' office with the idea of combining efforts. Vilardo felt her organization could provide a more public, expanded and accessible space with the additional resources that Briggs' office could provide.
"It started out as a beautification day, or a clean-up day, and it kind of grew into an eco-fest where we were showcasing businesses and non-profits that support green living," explained Vilardo. "Since the focus of both events were so similar we decided to combine resources and just produce one event."
The result of months of planning will take place on Sunday (June 5) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Rittenhouse Place.
"We used my staff's resources and the Ardmore Initiative's relationships in the Ardmore community," said Briggs. "[We] tried to fulfill both of our goals ... so residents can learn a little more about sustainable living and make something fun for the whole family [to] participate in."
This year's event includes about 40 vendors. Many environmentally conscious non-profit and local or state agencies were invited, with spaces offered at no cost. The only catch—the organizations had to do something fun for kids, such as face painting or trivia. The Franklin Institute will be showing how to mix paints that you can take home and (weather permitting) the Riverbend Environmental Education Center will be bringing a few creature friends.
For eco-parents there will be plant sales, rain barrels, shredding, recycling and plenty of information on how to make your home greener. PECO, PennEnvironment and Lowery Energy Solutions will be available to give you tips on conserving energy. If the stress of all the fun gets too much, stop by the Live Well Holistic Center's table for a massage.
In order to cut down the the usual festival waste, GreenFest goers will receive reusable water bottles that can be refilled at stations set up throughout the event. Vilardo also encouraged all participants to do more promote the event electronically, to cut down on excess paper and flyers.
GreenFest is happening on the same day as Clover Market at the nearby Schauffele Plaza (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) Taking in both is green and local, and Briggs and Vilardo feel the combination of events make for a great day to spend in Ardmore.
"There is an incredible grasp and focus on sustainable living in our [Main Line] area," Briggs said.