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Borough Green Team Provides Full Details on Its Upcoming Fair

The Green Fair is May 18 from 6-9 p.m. at Fair Lawn High School

The following press release was submitted by Fair Lawn's Green Team Advisory Committee:

At the 2nd Annual Fair Lawn Green Fair on May 18, visitors will tour ’s courtyard, see its rain garden and participate in hands-on presentations to learn how easy it is to build beautiful, native plant rain gardens in their own yards or install a rain barrel. Master Gardeners of Bergen County will show residents how to create a pest and odor-free compost bin, or pile, and there will be many other educational and fun activities for families and children. 

Pat LaRocco of Fair Lawn’s Rotary Club will demonstrate paper-pot making using soy-ink newspaper eco friendly enough to go straight into the soil along with the starter plants they contain. Ari Wei and Adam Fahmi, borough residents, high school students and rain barrel builders trained through Rutgers’ Water Resources program, will help demonstrate how to make and use mosquito-free rain barrels.

One barrel made during the fair will be donated to , a town-supported initiative opening to residents this month—who will also have an information table at the fair – and a second rain barrel will be offered as a door prize. Lessons will be given throughout the evening on crocheting satchels with “plarn” strips made from disposable shopping bags. Other fair exhibitors include the boro’s Shade Tree and Historic Preservation Commissions, Bergen County Audubon Society, the NY-NJ Trail Conference, Garretson Forge and Farm, and Green Drinks 3.

Joan Goldstein, head of the Fair Lawn Green Team, fair co-sponsor together with Boro Mayor and Council, says, “We hope the Green Fair will raise environmental awareness by showing residents how easily they can implement small, sustainable, measures in homes and gardens which the whole family will enjoy helping to implement and maintain. The installation basics being taught at the fair will provide enough information for a family to get started right away with a composting, rain barrel or rain garden project of its own. I’m looking forward this summer to hearing about many yard and garden project successes!”

Rain gardens are attractive arrangements of native greenery and flowers planted in shallow depressions designed to collect water during a storm and dry out completely within 24-48 hours after it ends. They provide clean water to the planet in two ways: moisture gathered on the leaves of plants evaporates into the atmosphere, and water channeled underground is cleaned by soil as it makes its way down into hidden aquifers carrying water back to streams and lakes. Rain gardens are inexpensive, low-maintenance and provide exceptionally effective, natural cleansing of water which would otherwise enter fresh waterways untreated, along with chemical pollutants such as excess lawn nutrients, pesticides, drops of auto oil and anti-freeze.

At the rain barrel demonstration, visitors will learn how to build, install and maintain a rain barrel, which is a modified container placed under a gutter downspout that collects rainwater from a building’s roof. A barrel holds about 50 gallons of water that can be used for a variety of tasks including car washing, lawn and garden watering, and can be especially useful during summer water shortages. Collected rainwater also offers savings on water bills and helps prevent basement flooding. Rain gardens and rain barrels are both important components of a municipality’s stormwater treatment strategy, as they help keep pollutants away from roadside storm drains which funnel water directly into local freshwater rivers and streams.

The Green Fair takes place on Wednesday, May 18 from 6-9 p.m. in the D Café at Fair Lawn High School (14-00 Berdan Ave). It is open to the public, there is no attendance charge and free gifts will be distributed while supplies last. For more information contact Carol Wagner at 201-794-5327 or email greenteam@fairlawn.org. More information on rain gardens and water resources is available at www.water.rutgers.edu.

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