Environmentally friendly festivals are still on tap this season amid pandemic

Schuylkill River
Photo credit Jumping Rocks/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — In the “before times,” September ushered in a fall season of eco-centric fairs, festivals and in-person meet-ups across the greater Philadelphia area to celebrate and investigate the environment. 

This year, there are still a slew of activities and programs highlighting sustainability for the public to attend, though, of course, from a necessary social distance. 

Clean Air Council’s popular weekend Greenfest is now a two-week-long carbon-neutral virtual festival, which is already underway with daily streaming events. They’ve gathered experts and innovators for presentations every day through Sept. 27.

The varied offerings range from a vegan cooking demo at lunchtime to a dinnertime lecture about an Antarctic expedition to study sheet ice melt; and a mid-morning talk about pollinators and pesticides to a mid-evening overview of pollution threats to the Delaware River.  

Anything you missed can be accessed anytime from Greenfest’s recap page

Meanwhile, the Friends of the Heinz Refuge is holding a native plant sale. Order online from their wide selection until Sept. 27, then pick up your posies (or saplings or shrubs) at the refuge on Oct. 3. 

Native plants are a critical basis of the food chain, attracting pollinators and appetizing bugs for native insects. Your purchase supports not only the native ecosystem, but the programs of FOHR. 

While you’re at the refuge, stroll some of the more than 10 miles of trails there, and be sure to bring your binoculars. The habitats support more than 300 species of birds, as well as many mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, insects and plants. 

On Sept. 25, Green Philly’s inaugural virtual symposium, called “Embracing Resiliency: How Philly Can Rise Up to the Climate Challenge,” is an all-day online buffet of lightning sessions on how to live sustainably at home. Panel discussions will feature business and organization leaders on how they’re embracing challenges and creating opportunities to work together to make Philadelphia sustainable and equitable. 

The accessible agenda addresses issues from in-house corporate sustainability efforts to at-home electrification to social justice.

Then, the 2020 Delaware River Festival is a week-long in-person/virtual hybrid event from Sept. 26 through Oct. 4. Environmental organizations from both Pennsylvania and New Jersey will highlight the importance of the Delaware River and ways to enjoy the watershed. 

You can livestream the environment-themed yoga session, and the talks on horseshoe crabs, turtles and dragonflies, and water-themed storytimes. But you’ll want to get the gang together — mask up first — to enjoy on-site activities like kayaking at Pyne Poynt Park in Camden, a bird walk in Saddler’s Woods in Haddon Township,  and kite flying at the Center For Aquatic Sciences at Adventure Aquarium.