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Green Up Jamestown Brings Together Community For Event Series

The Green Up Jamestown Commission met recently at Labyrinth Press Co. to work on the upcoming Green Up Jamestown event series.

What began as a conversation has grown into a full-blown movement, thanks to community connections and a lot of determination.

The GreenUp Jamestown Coalition began as a discussion between the Rev. Luke Fodor of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and James Colby, parishioner and former curator of the Weeks Gallery at Jamestown Community College. Concerned with local, national and global environmental issues, natural assets and sustainability, the pair looked for ways to bring together the community and create programming that would impact the community in a big way.

GreenUp Jamestown began last year and created a series of events to spark the interest of individuals from all walks of life in all areas. The coalition continues this year and will host another series of events with the help of various entities within the community that have taken part in the coalition, including the Audubon Community Nature Center; Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy; Robert H. Jackson Center; Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History; Jamestown Renaissance Corporation and Jamestown Community College.

Fodor said when they began working on the coalition and events, they recognized there were a variety of organizations in the area that could come together as a piece of the puzzle.

“We realized they were interested in green Earth things, or could be,” he said. “So we started just having conversations with people about this initiative and if they wanted to participate to bring us under a similar banner.”

While it is considered a “coalition” by name, Fodor said it isn’t necessarily an “entity” but rather a gathering of people and their organizations looking to protect and steward the environment.

Colby said one goal of the events and the coalition is to bring people together, not divide them.

“We want to bring everyone together that is concerned about the Earth,” he said. “We don’t want it political, and we don’t want to push any religious views. The event is open to everyone with common interests.”

Colby said another tenet of the events is to express a love of nature. He said many people who live in Jamestown don’t realize what assets the area possesses.

“We want people to really realize the gifts we have,” he said. “Then we really want to transition into the Earth Day ideas, like clean water, clean soil and clean air.”

Colby said the issues addressed in the event series will tackle not only local needs and problems, but also look at sustainability at a national and global level.

The event series will include panel discussions, exhibitions, ceremonies and other activities yet to be determined that will begin in late February 2018 and will continue into April. Colby said a main feature of the upcoming series is what is called the “Pillar of Light” community project. The project will consist of 1,056 mason jars that will be assembled in a pillar. Each jar will be filled with the shredded submitted works of students and community members, which will then be lit with LED tube lights. The project will be on display in the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church sanctuary as part of the final event of the series on April 21, “The Earth Day Art Happening.”

Pieces of artwork, research, poems, favorite song lyrics and other works for the project can be submitted from December to January. Colby said pieces should be created on a plain sheet of copy paper, and no crayon should be used due to the nature of the project.

Also, in honor of the event series and Earth Day, the group encourages participants and community members to sign the Earth Pledge, available on the website at www.greenupjamestown.com. The pledge includes items such as improving recycling habits; eating, drinking and shopping “green”; exploring the Chautauqua County ecosystems; buying less and getting rid of items; and others.

For more information on the coalition or the Pillar of Light project, visit www.greenupjamestown.com.

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