On April 28, 11-4, White River State Park, 801 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, will host this year’s Earth Day Indiana festival. We interviewed Stephen Sellers, who has been the festival’s director for six years. Ever since he participated in the first Earth Day while in school at IU he’s been actively involved in conservation and preservation.
Stephen Sellers: Earth Day Indiana has grown to be one of the largest Earth Day events in the country. On a clear April day we’ll host 30,000 visitors. We’ll have 140 exhibits, live music, good food and special activities for kids.
ILG: Tell us more about the exhibits.
SS: Our exhibits focus on environmental protection, conserving natural resources and sustainable living. You will see a variety of organizations and businesses that have some stake in those basic issues, organizations that are advocacy groups. You will see groups that are based on educating people. You will see businesses that have particular products that are environmentally friendly or recycled. You will see exhibits on fuel efficient autos, on lower emission vehicles. Just a whole host of interesting, thought-provoking, and valuable exhibits, so that people can look, choose, learn, discuss and maybe learn something that they can take home and apply for themselves.
ILG: What kind of activities do you have for children?
We have an entertainment stage, so there will be some entertainment and education for the kids. One of the great features in the children’s tent is a presentation by Anamalia, a local group that will bring wildlife that kids can see. They’ll discuss different types of wildlife and the kids will learn and have fun watching that. One of the fun things that kids always get a kick out of is the Industrial Operators Association does T-shirt coloring with the kids, and that is wildly popular. They’ve done that for years, and it’s a feature that brings the kids back.
ILG: What’s the biggest thing you want people to get out of this event?
SS: We hope that people choose a path that is appropriate for them. The great thing about the Earth Day Indiana Festival is that there are so many different organizations, different choices, different points of view, so that people can come in and explore, and to learn, to make connections, perhaps join an organization, learn about something they can do to conserve or recycle. Really, choose a path that they feel is appropriate for them.
ILG: Is there anything else that you want the readers to know?
SS: Go to the website at EarthDayIndiana.org where we will start posting updates and have a lot more information about what’s coming up, so look for that in April. It’s a family friendly event, so bring the kids, bring the pets, bike in. Pedal and Park will have a corral there, so you can bike here and it’ll be secure. And there’s many things to do once you’re down there. There are museums, there’s the zoo, or just walk along the canal.
ILG: All very green options, I’ve noticed!
SS: Exactly! It’s the premier area in Indianapolis to do an outdoor event.