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April 8, 2010

Earth Festival is Saturday at MCS

STAFF REPORT



The Earth Festival, now in its fifth year, is an environmentally focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, workshops, vendors, food and entertainment, all with a fun, earthfriendly twist.



Earth Festival 2010, sponsored by the Otsego County Conservation Association and Wildlife Learning Company, is scheduled for Saturday at the Milford Central School.



This year’s event will include a seminar series from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the school auditorium, with a wide range of topics, as well as the traditional information and vendor fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the gymnasium.



Following a successful renewable energy workshop in January and in response to heightened public interest in alternative energy, festival sponsors decided to include the seminar series in this year’s festival, according to Darla Youngs, Administrative Director of the Otsego County Conservation Association.



The seminar series topics will run and gamut from energy audits and retrofits to natural gas-drilling to zero waste. Industry professionals will give presentations on geothermal and solar thermal energy and Finnish wood stoves. The importance of energy audits will be discussed, as will both residential and commercial energy retrofitting.



With the information and materials provided, home and business owners will be better able to assess renewable energy options and evaluate the compatibility of these energy sources with their individual sites and lifestyles, Youngs said.



The seminar series will also explore various aspects of natural gas drilling in the Marcellus shale formation, as four speakers take the stage to share their perspectives and concerns. Representatives from the environmental, oil and gas, and legal communities will discuss drilling currently underway in Otsego County by Gastem, an oil and gas exploration and development company; flaws in the proposed New York State regulations on horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing; how to recognize and report possible violation of environmental laws and regulations; and legal considerations for individuals and towns.

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