If that sounds a bit heavy, don’t worry. The festival, in its fourth year, is also meant to be fun.
On Artist Row, you can check out thousands of works of art, many of them made from natural or recycled materials.
In the festival area called ETC. Spaces, you can gain insights into the use and conservation of outdoor space by exploring special installations created by artists, architects and designers.
You can go for a hike in the Moss Rock Preserve or use GPS technology to locate objects hidden there in a geo-cache location game.
There will be live music and gourmet food and drinks, including BrewHaHa, a high-gravity beer tasting.
WonderKid Art Studios will provide young festivalgoers with fun, eco-themed art activities.
If you’re seeking solid information about ways in which you can live greener, you can find that too, at Eco-Ideas, an outdoor district that will include a wide variety of eco-friendly ideas and products, supplied by scores of profit and non-profit groups.
Participants in Eco-Ideas will include:
• ARC Energy Consulting, providing instruction on how to do a home-energy audit.
• Concrete Repeat, promoting the integration of inexpensive recycled concrete into landscape designs.
• Organic growers, produce purveyors and community garden organizers such as Grow Alabama, Backyard Pantry and Organic Harvest Market & Café.
• Green and fair-trade retailers including Green Central Station and Sojourns.
Foton-America, one of the primary sponsors of the Eco-Ideas area, along with Birmingham Magazine and the Freshwater Land Trust, will show off CNG and electric-powered vehicles.
Other nonprofit organizations participating in the festival include Alabama Partners for Clean Air, Energize Alabama, Alabama Wildlife Center, Camp McDowell Environmental Center, Friends of Moss Rock Preserve and the Hoover Beautification Board. Volunteers from the McWane Science Center will be on hand with demonstrations of renewable energy technologies.
TV personality Carter Oosterhouse, host of HGTV’s Carter Can, will meet and greet attendees at the Alagasco booth and will also speak about green tips for your home.
Eileen Kunzman, founder of Birmingham firm Fine Art Services and the director of the Moss Rock festival, believes festival patrons who visit the Eco-Ideas are will benefit from this concentration of ideas and information.
“It’s all about creative thought, motivation and communicating,” Kunzman says. “The engineer does all of those things, as does the ecologist, and the architect. That’s why I love the combination. The more minds you have, the energy and creative thought brings forth unexpected solutions or new ways of living.
“With the audience going from one point to the next and picking up tidbits, they are taking it back and seeing how it fits into what they want to try next,” she says.
Kunzman is also excited about the natural, outdoor setting near the Moss Rock Preserve and feels that it contributes to an atmosphere of green learning, for both vendors and the public.
“I like the fact that we have eco-ideas and we’re in a place where the built environment meets the unbuilt environment,” she says. “When I’m out in the open or look out over a field, that’s where but I get my best ideas. It changes the dynamic and opens up creativity.”
Kunzman also believes that attending a marketplace of green ideas and products like Eco-Ideas and talking to green professionals and advocates can help well-meaning people who have put off doing something to improve their homes or help the environment overcome what she calls the “backburner syndrome.”
“Our lives are so darn full, and then you come and you relax and you literally meet someone who can help you do something that you’ve been thinking about doing for a long time,” she says. “It’s so easy to put things off, but once you’re there, all of a sudden you make that face-to-face connection, and it makes it easier to take action, to solidify something, to ask ‘Can you come help me do this?’ There’s your resource right there. They will help by following up with you. That’s their passion. You’re sharing the responsibility of bringing to fruition what you’ve been daydreaming about.”
Moss Rock festivalgoers can also learn about recycling. According to Kunzman, volunteers from Ramsay High School, the UAB Recycling Program and the Green Initiative of UAB will help educate festival patrons about recycling their trash. Birmingham recycler Technical Knockout will be accepting old electronics on Saturday and Sunday at Regions Park. Shred It will accept paper donations for secure document destruction on Saturday at Regions Park.
Moss Rock Festival admission will be free. The festival will be open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each day. Patrons may park at Regions Park and take a free shuttle to the event. For more information – as well as a complete list of the participants in Eco-Ideas – visit www.mossrockfestival.com.