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Amherst’s annual Sustainability Festival to take place Saturday

Alan Snow, right,division director of trees and grounds for the town of Amherst, and Stockbridge School intern D.J. Gancorz, just behind him, gave a tree planting demonstration in conjunction with the Amherst Sustainability Festival last year. On Saturday, Snow will show how to prune trees.
GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Alan Snow, right,division director of trees and grounds for the town of Amherst, and Stockbridge School intern D.J. Gancorz, just behind him, gave a tree planting demonstration in conjunction with the Amherst Sustainability Festival last year. On Saturday, Snow will show how to prune trees. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO Purchase photo reprints »

The fourth-annual event, which takes place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Town Common, is expected to bring out more than 100 vendors, an array of live entertainment and feature games and activities for children.

Stephanie Ciccarello, the town’s sustainability coordinator, said a demonstration area is the centerpiece of the festival.

“This year we felt like we wanted that area to highlight educational opportunities for the community, something people could take home with them, and something they can learn and incorporate into their own daily living,” Ciccarello said.

The workshops begin at 10:30 a.m. with a tree pruning demonstration by tree warden Alan Snow, followed at 11:30 a.m. by a presentation by the Goat Girls, an Amherst brush cleaning business, showing how goats can control invasive species.

Charlotte Vesel, a master gardener, shows people how to create a “lasagna” garden at 12:30 p.m., with David “Dr. Worm” Lovler discussing outdoor composting and worms at 1:30 p.m. More gardening techniques will be offered by the University of Massachusetts Permaculture group at 2:30 p.m.

Among vendors will be those offering sustainable products and energy supplies, nonprofits and other agencies and local artisans who make sustainable products.

There will also be live entertainment throughout the day, including the Piti Theatre Co., Carrie Ferguson, Roger Tincknell, Iroko Nuevo, Charlie Mgee and Wishbone Zoe.

The festival again this year will offer an opportunity for people to recycle textiles, with the collection benefiting the Salvation Army. A collection point will be set up on Boltwood Avenue, where people can bring their dry and clean towels, bed sheets, pocketbooks and other items, no matter the condition.

“Anything people might normally donate to Salvation Army,” Ciccarello said.

The event is coupled with an Arbor Day celebration, which will present tree-identification activities and games led by Jim Terruso, a Mount Tom Park ranger, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., and a display of the Arbor Day poster contest entrants from fourth- through sixth-graders.

Henry the Juggler will perform from noon to 2 p.m.

Most of the activities are on the Town Common, with the farmers market operating nearby in the Spring Street lot. On the North Common, a bucket truck will give free rides and an Orbitron will be set up where people can self power their own spin rides.

Electric vehicle displays will be provided by the Pioneer Valley Electric Automobile Association.

The festival is co-sponsored by Western Massachusetts Electric Co. and the Berkshire Gas Energy Efficiency Program.

For more information, visit www.amherstma.gov/sustaining.

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