Heal The Planet Day moves to bigger digs in Snyder Park
Heal The Planet Day has outgrown its previous homes on Las Olas Boulevard and Esplanade Park in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
The fourth annual festival will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 14 in the more expansive Snyder Park, just north of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Aside from more room to stage the event’s activities — a vendor village, live music, demonstrations, workshops and showcases — the move will also allow free parking for Heal The Planet Day, which gets a jump on Earth Day on April 22.
“At Snyder Park there are 92 acres,” says Phoebe Haupt, executive director of Heal The Planet, a non-profit organization. “It’s a park with so much land. Part of Earth Day is to connect with the land. [Snyder Park] is just a huge part of nature that people can come and connect with for the day. We wanted to make sure we have a lot of interesting things to offer everyone. So making sure the event is accessible to the people is a part of that.”
One of the big events planned is a plantbased showcase facilitated by the local group SoFlo Vegans (SoFloVegans.com).
“There will be six different culinary artists preparing different courses,” explains Sean Russell, who founded the group in 2017 after a few years of organizing veganism meet-ups. “There will be two appetizers, two entrees and two desserts. You can purchase tickets for $15 and sample. It’s a good opportunity for people who have never had plant-based food to try it out.”
Here are the deets
Snyder Park is at 3299 SW Fourth Ave., Fort Lauderdale.
For more information, go to HealThePlanet.com.
Here is the schedule of events
■ 8:30 a.m. Registration for a Planet Lover’s Fun Run/Walk (you can bring scooters, bikes, etc.), which begins at 9 a.m.
■ 10 a.m. Opening Circle and Ceremony
■ 10:30 a.m. All activities and zones begin (until 4 p.m.)
■ 11 a.m.-12 p.m. The Plant-Based Showcase, featuring local culinary artists
■ 1:30-3 p.m. Interfaith Heal the Planet dialogue/youth-led small and large group discussion
■ 3-3:30 p.m. Young Planet Leaders and Schools Awards Ceremony
■ 3:30-4 p.m. Closing Ceremony and Acknowledgements
How much it costs
Online admission sales end on April 12. Prices do not include online fees. General admission is $2.50. The Plant-Based Showcase is $15. The Planet Lover’s Fun Run/ Walk is $10. There is an All-Access Pass for $25. To order, go to HealThePlanet.com.
Broward County public school students enter for free with pre-registration (use code BCSFREE to unlock the free student ticket on Eventbrite).
Young people stuff
Organizers say this year there is a focus on children and teenagers. Many of the 30-plus workshops spread among six zones (mindful movement, wellness, holistic pet, grow your own, young planet leader, kids zone) are geared toward inspiring young people to become stewards of the environment.
“We made a concentrated effort to reach out to Broward County public schools,” says Marni Becker-Avin, director of special projects for Heal The Planet. “We have a bunch of programs for them and our curriculum is approved by Broward County schools already.”
Becker-Avin says there will also be an essay scholarship contest, financial awards given out for the three schools with the top attendance through preregistration and attendance, as well as free mindfulness training for teachers.
Why do it?
“I continue to be amazed by how few facilities in South Florida recycle and how few families recycle,” Haupt says. “We would like to increase the ways people can live [in a sustainable way]. We all have to do it.”
Haupt says Heal The Planet Day designed a variety of workshops to try to appeal to a wide variety of interests, from growing your own garden for “food security” in case of a natural disaster to a lakeside zone where you can bring your pet and shop for “healthy alternative” natural products.
“You name it, there’s a workshop for it,” she adds. “Every zone has workshops.”