Saving the Bay One Festival at a Time

Save the Bay.

Everyone wants to do it. But every year, Maryland seems to miss the mark. Amidst overwhelming reports on oil spills and global warming, rain barrels and natural landscaping can seem small beans. Yet they’re effective weapons in the war on environmental pollutants.

As Jim Barthold and Elvia Thompson see it, people have been too busy thinking globally to act locally. To help Anne Arundel Countians find a greener way of life, Barthold and Thompson organized this weekend’s Chesapeake Green Living Festival.

“It’s not that we’re not interested in global warming, but we want to focus on what we can do here,” says Thompson, who also organizes Green Drinks Annapolis and Annapolis Green events.

To help create the festival, she joined with Jim Barthold, who spent 36 years staging the expansive and popular U.S. Boat Shows in Annapolis.

“It is a difference in emphasis,” says Barthold. “The boat shows were all about boating, which is perceived as being a fun activity and you pursue it with discretionary dollars. Whereas with the green living festival, while fun too, there is almost more of a moral imperative attached to it. Eventually there are profound consequences to not being green.”

To save the Bay, we need to act now. Starting this weekend.

June 19 and 20, The Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds transform into a green village, where 80 green vendors give demonstrations of their products and curious visitors discover how practical techniques like landscaping can make a significant difference to the Bay.

The festival features presenters who live and work in the Bay area and are familiar with local green living. Especially the solar power community, which is sending six representatives to the event.

“We have green builders to green cars to garden sheds with green roofs and everything in between,” Barthold says.

Thompson also hopes the festival expands green decision-making.

At 10:30am Saturday, the League of Conservation Voters will announce three candidates it is endorsing for Anne Arundel County Council. The League will explain how votes affect the Bay, just like runoff.

Barthold also looks forward to the festival’s food exhibits.

“We’re going to have green food, which is done by Anthony Clarke of Galway Bay,” Barthold says. “They’re going out of their way to make sure the food is locally sourced. It’ll be healthy and good for you. No fried Velveeta on a stick.”

Promised as well as good food is accessible information for all ages. Fathers in free on Sunday, Father’s Day — if they bring their kids for oyster tonging with the Oyster Recovery Partnership and for playtime with Annapolis Maritime Museum.

10am-6pm, Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds, Crownsville. $8/adult; $5/child: