SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A free community event is being held to highlight Earth Day on Saturday.

The second annual Springfield Earth Day Celebration is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Myrtle Park, 112 Main Street in Indian Orchard. It is to highlight sustainable neighborhoods, cooperative economic development, locally grown food, and climate justice. 

Music, food, and activities will be available with a presentation on Earth Day from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. including opening remarks from Representative Orlando Ramos from Indian Orchard. According to his office, “Representative Ramos is excited to participate in this year’s Earth Day celebration and believes in the work that the co-sponsoring organizations have done around sustainability and making a greener community.”

According to event organizers, “This Earth Day Celebration is about more than the traditional environmental protection, although the climate crisis is front and center. It’s also about building resilient and sustainable communities – because we understand that the natural and human environments are interdependent.”

Beginning at 3 p.m., a neighborhood tour will feature sustainability projects in Indian Orchard including the Wellspring Harvest greenhouse, which is the largest urban greenhouse in the state and a source of local, fresh produce year-round. The walk will also stop at the reconstruction project at the former Indian Orchard fire station, which is being redeveloped in partnership with the City of Springfield.

Local food and gardening will be highlighted through displays, activities, and presentations. “For NOFA and the Food Access team, health is at the root of growing food. If our soil is healthy, our food will be healthy. Our goal is to ensure that everyone, particularly in BIPOC communities, has access to healthy food,” Northeast Organic Farmers Association Food Access Director, Sister Anna Gilbert-Muhammad said.

Both the Springfield Climate Justice Coalition and Climate Action Now will share their work and upcoming events. “Preventing the Springfield-Longmeadow pipeline is a priority for the Springfield Climate Justice Coalition, and we are also leading the statewide effort to take back money from the gas utilities to invest in more resilient energy alternatives. All our efforts are going into transforming the energy system for our collective energy future,” said local organizer Naia Tenerowicz.

Event organizers and sponsors include Representative Orlando Ramos, Indian Orchard Citizens Council, Wellspring Cooperative, Springfield Neighbor to Neighbor, Northeast Organic Farming Association, Climate Action Now, Springfield Climate Justice Coalition, and Regreen Springfield.