University of Maine Rec Center Hosts Green Festival

The University of Maine’s New Balance Student Recreation Center added to its already green reputation by hosting the 18th annual Help Organize Peace Earthwide (HOPE) Festival last Saturday.

As one of the first college recreation centers to receive the silver level of LEED certification for its sustainability standards, the 87,000-square-foot facility featured green events for all ages during the HOPE Festival, including a booth in the children’s section where children could make bird feeders out of pine cones, seeds and peanut butter.

“The goal of the event is to celebrate a connection to the earth and to each other, share information about all the good work that they’ve done and to celebrate Earth Day,” Ilze Petersons, director of the event, told the Bangor (ME) Daily News.

Helping children to engage with the outdoors and the species that inhabit it encourage children to spend more time outside instead of watching TV, a volunteer at the event told the newspaper.

The event featured booths for local vendors and groups to share information about their organizations, sell products or distribute flyers. Keynote speaker Bill McKibben, an environmentalist and author who has extensively studied global warming, spoke at the event, the newspaper reported.

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