SPEAK

Trine University’s SPEAK For the Earth hosts the annual Earth Fest, which will be held Saturday, April 27 at Briali Winery, 102 W. S.R. 120, Fremont. The group meets weekly and is busy this spring with cleanups, campus initiatives and community volunteerism.

ANGOLA — Food, music, activities and environmental awareness are the tenets of Earth Fest.

The event — hosted by Trine University’s SPEAK For the Earth — is in its fourth year at Briali Winery, 102 W. S.R. 120, Fremont.

It will be held Saturday, April 27, noon to 8 p.m.

Angola MS4, created to address storm water overflow situations in the city and at Trine University, is the title sponsor of the event.

This year’s theme is water.

“It’s really for all ages,” said Trine junior Maddi Sanderson, a Fort Wayne native majoring in communications and prelaw. “And, it’s free to the community.”

Around 20 local businesses and organizations with environmental products, services and missions will have booths. There will be activities for children, food, wine and beer by Auburn Brewing Company.

“The main idea of Earth Fest is to raise awareness of local and sustainable products,” said Sanderson.

It has also been a platform for environmental issues.

This year, there will be only one scheduled presenter — the Indiana Forest Alliance. The IFA, based in Indianapolis, sends representatives to Steuben County every year for Earth Fest. Its mission is to protect and restore Indiana’s native hardwood forests for the enjoyment of all through science-based advocacy.

IFA Executive Director Jeff Stant will address the crowd at 1 p.m.

Music and dance performances are scheduled throughout the day.

Along with organizing Earth Fest, SPEAK is planning a roadside cleanup on Tuesday, April 23, along North Wayne Street. The organization also bags tree starts every year for the Angola Tree Board, which are in turn given to school children to take home and plant with their families.

Aidan Benysh, a Wabash native and sophomore in Trine’s mechanical engineering program, said SPEAK is a large, active contingent this year. The members participated in a campus Ecoweek, which was held this week, that included daily environmental observances. Friday, for example, the lights in buildings and dorms were turned off for an hour for energy conservation.

Earlier in the week, Benysh said a screening of “Seeds of Freedom” was well attended. The trilogy follows the story of the seed from a diverse farming system in early America to a global capitalist commodity. It highlights the impact of industrial agricultural and genetically modified seeds.

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