Avon Valley Gazette - - OPINION -

THE in­au­gu­ral com­mu­nity- led Blue Sky Fes­ti­val on Satur­day brought a feel­ing of hope, ap­pre­ci­a­tion and cel­e­bra­tion to the Hills and there is al­ready much talk of mak­ing this an an­nual event.

Over­heard in the street: “An in­cred­i­ble ef­fort. Just amaz­ing to see so many in­spi­ra­tional peo­ple and ideas com­ing to­gether!”.

Though they can­not list here all the folk who pro­vided sup­port, en­cour­age­ment and in­volve­ment through­out many months of fes­ti­val plan­ning and on the day, the or­gan­is­ing team would like to par­tic­u­larly thank Mun­dar­ing in Tran­si­tion, Lot­tery West, the Wild­flower So­ci­ety, Bendigo Bank, the Eastern Met­ro­pol­i­tan Re­gional Coun­cil, Ro­tary and the Shire of Mun­dar­ing.

The area around Mun­dar­ing Sculp­ture Park was abuzz with ac­tiv­i­ties fo­cus­ing on min­i­mal waste and max­i­mum com­mu­nity in­volve­ment.

The fes­ti­val drew to­gether many lo­cal sus­tain­abil­ity and en­vi­ron­men­tal groups and in­di­vid­u­als who pre­sented a huge range of talks, ac­tiv­i­ties, work­shops and dis­plays.

Peter Hol­land was mas­ter of cer­e­monies for the day, keep­ing fes­ti­val­go­ers in­formed of the day’s events and high­lights.

Pre­sen­ta­tion top­ics in­cluded bush­fire readi­ness and mit­iga- tion, re­new­able en­ergy, pas­sive ac­tivism, nest box con­struc­tion and waste­less liv­ing.

There was a hive of ac­tiv­ity on The Green, with stalls show­cas­ing how to make a na­tive bee ho­tel, in­no­va­tive ways to grow your own veg­eta­bles and ways to col­lect seeds and store them.

A cloth­ing ex­change cor­ner was very pop­u­lar and passersby could help sew a Boomerang Bag, which were un­der con­struc­tion all day.

Two main streets of Mun­dar­ing were closed to traf­fic, with one filled with elec­tric cars, bi­cy­cles and mo­tor­cy­cles and the other with dozens of stalls pro­mot­ing thought- pro­vok­ing con­cepts and in­no­va­tive home­made and nat­u­ral prod­ucts, all free of sin­gle- use plas­tic.

Over­all waste go­ing to land­fill from the fes­ti­val was kept to a min­i­mum, with food ven­dors largely util­is­ing re- us­able plates, cups and cut­lery sup­plied by Go2Cups.

Many con­nec­tions were made through­out the plan­ning process and on the day, and it was heart­en­ing to see so many peo­ple em­brac­ing min­i­mal waste and other sus­tain­abil­ity prin­ci­ples, which were the un­der­ly­ing fo­cus of the Fes­ti­val.


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