Author Seth Braun gave the keynote speech about Fairfield’s future
MUM students and Fairfield residents helped plant hundreds of trees at a community orchard
The Green Vendor Sale had over 50 vendors
Over 400 people attended the EcoJam sustainable fashion show (photo by Emanuel Schachinger)
on Local Community
MUM celebrated the 12th annual EcoFair on Earth Day this year which also coincided with the opening of the Schwartz-Guich Sustainable Living Center. The event was rebranded as EcoFairfield to place greater emphasis on local experts and community service.
The weekend opened with a keynote speech titled “The Next Greatest Version of Fairfield” by local author, speaker, and entrepreneur Seth Braun. Mr. Braun discussed how Fairfield’s unique qualities of entrepreneurship, creativity, and sustainability can propel the community into a bright economic future.
The weekend was packed with a variety of presentations and workshops by local and regional experts. These included Francis Thicke, sustainable agriculture expert and founder of Radiance Dairy, Fred Kirschenmann from the Leopold Center, and MUM alumnus Scott Morris, founder of myLocal Cooperative. The Green Vendors Sale this year featured over 50 vendors, more than twice as many as in previous years.
“The wide range of workshops and presentations showed us the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how much knowledge and expertise exists with people in the community and region,” said EcoFairfield organizer and MUM student James Schleppenbach.
One of the weekend's highlights was the ever-popular EcoJam fashion show featuring garments made of recycled, vintage, or organic materials by 12 local designers. This year’s show was the most successful, with over 400 tickets sold.
The most ambitious plan was the community-wide tree-planting event made possible by a grant from the Alliant Energy Hometown Rewards program. MUM students, along with hundreds of Fairfield residents, planted 300 fruit and nut trees in several locations around town, including Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment and Chautauqua Park.
“The orchard planting at Chautauqua park was a powerful step in the right direction for the community,” James said. “The energy was of collaboration and celebration, as hundreds of people from all over the community helped plant this public future food-source.”