Children answer environmental questions at the Bethesda Green tent.

Children gathered at the Bethesda Green tent to answer environmental questions.

by Alison Wentzell

On the first Saturday of June every year, Bethesda Urban Partnership sponsors a festival for the children of Bethesda and surrounding area.

The 19th annual Imagination Bethesda proved to be extremely successful, despite the scorching heat, drawing about 15,000 children and parents to watch performances, listen to foreign language storytelling, make crafts, and enjoy a variety of other activities.  Children were beaming with delight as they participated in activities involving a wide array of skills and experiences.  At the Bethesda Green tent, kids created environmentally friendly crafts and tested their knowledge for the chance to win a small prize.  We provided the kids with recycled scrap paper and markers so that they could make armbands or add links to our eco-friendly paper chain.

The purpose of these small crafts were to show them that they don’t have to throw away something after using it only once; instead, they can reuse items multiple times to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfills and recycling centers.  On the other side of the tent both parents and children were equally stumped by our environmental trivia questions.  These questions forced families to think about our environmental impacts, both as a nation and individually.

Children potted flowers at the American Plant tent.

Children potted flowers at the American Plant tent.

Bethesda Green dedicated Saturday to creating awareness about environmental issues in the fun and vibrant atmosphere that is the Imagination Bethesda festival, with other organizations promoting sustainable values as well.  At American Plant, children were given the opportunity to plant their own potted flowers.  Joy of Motion Dance Center had visitors make paper chains and lanterns from recycled paper.  Other organizations promoted language development, multicultural awareness, and creative development.  Whether or not an organization promoted green values, they all worked to equip children with the skills necessary for a better future.

Alison Wentzell is a senior at American University and an intern with Bethesda Green.  Her interests in sustainability focus on the community, environmental politics, and cultural aspects of the environmental movement.

Advertisements