Beach 91st Street Community Garden’s Earth Day Festival!

In celebration of Earth Day, the Beach 91st Street Community Garden is hosting a festival on April 23, from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. in the garden. The theme of the event is the Rockaway Ecosystem, which will pay tribute to the biological community and the environments in which they live and we share.

The day’s events focus on ecological education, art inspired by the beauty of Jamaica Bay, created by local artists and fantastic live music!

The Earth Day guest speakers are:

Carolin Wood, NYC Parks Department Gardener. She will be speaking about Rockaway native species and pollinators in our urban gardens. The second part of her presentation will be an interactive demonstration. In addition to being a professional gardener, Carolin is an artist. Her works are inspired by nature she experiences throughout the city and being a single mother of two, living in the Rockaways (@carolin_wood).

Don Riepe, the Jamaica Bay Guardian for the American Littoral Society. Riepe retired in 2003 from the National Park Service where he worked as a naturalist ranger and manager of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. At the event, Don will discuss our beloved Jamaica Bay. He will educate us on the integral ecosystem of the bay and its inhabitants. This discussion will be followed by a Q&A. (@jamaicabayguardian).

Jill Lauri of Healing With Animals. Jill is excited to share her expertise on local animals and wildlife. She will speak about the importance of our connection to all living creatures. Jill has counseled people on their relationships with animals for over 25 years. She earned certificates from Mani Center in Spirituality and Sedona International School for Animal & Nature Communication. Jill holds an MSW from Hunter College and an MBA from Columbia Business School. (@healingwithanimals).

Art will be displayed throughout the garden space. The featured artists include: Mike Benigno (photography), Valentina Gallup (illustration), Jean Tran (sculpture), Carolin Wood, (collage), Bridget Klapinski (recycled sculpture), Jason Heuer (paint), Mercedes Gallese (paint), Clare Hilger (printmaking) and myself, Paula DiGioia (pen and ink).

Sculpture by Jean Tran

In addition to art works for sale by the above creators, there will be a shop table including smaller works, postcards, etc. and  Beach 91st Street Community Garden tote bags –  perfect for gathering your garden tomatoes or for a trip to the farmers market!

Photography by Mike Benigno

Expect a lively Jazz performance by Tim Otto and Simon Chardiet. Tim is an acclaimed sax,  woodwind player and composer. Otto has traveled the globe performing concerts and festivals in Europe, the US, Asia, Australia and remote locations in Papua New Guinea (@timottomusic).

Simon Chardiet is a singer/songwriter. He plays a multitude of instruments but is most known for his guitar and upright bass creds. He’s stellar at performing rockabilly and jazz but is a punk at his core. Simon has been in the NYC music circuit for decades, playing everywhere – large  scale venues, punk clubs, street corners on the LES and on the sand in Rockaway Beach. (@chardietsimon).

The Beach 91st Street Community Garden will be donating a portion of the proceeds of art and shop sales to the American Littoral Society (Northeast Chapter). The Littoral Society’s mission is to educate, advocate, conserve and restore bodies of water and coastlines, including Jamaica Bay.

Join the community in celebration of Earth Day and show your support for our precious ecosystem. It will be a fun and informative day for all! For updates on the Earth Day festivities, full bios of the speakers, artists, and musicians, follow @beach91communitygarden on Instagram.

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