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Creative energy added to Gateway’s annual EcoFest Racine event

News Release: 

Gateway Technical College and Greening Racine have added even more creativity, art and music to their annual EcoFest Racine event through several nature and environmentally themed music acts as well as the Ecoart for Ecofest Vital Art Project.

Ecofest, a community event aimed at sharing and celebrating sustainable practices, will be held 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 17 in the Lake Building on the college’s Racine Campus, 1001 S. Main St.

 The event will focus on providing activities and ways community members can be gentle on the environment at work and home. It features informational displays, ask the expert stations, 20-minute informational presentations and children’s activities. Admission is free. There will be a free gift for attendees and free seeds to plant this spring.

“Ecofest Racine showcases the excellent work done by our schools, community organizations and government to celebrate, nurture and improve Racine’s environment. It does so with short presentations to help us learn how to make practical improvements, dozens of informational booths, as well as fun but educational kids activities,” says Jayne Herring, Gateway director and co-chair of the event.

Eco fine art show

This year provides a new feature through fine art by Catherine Cajandig, Vandana Gala, Erik R. Peterson, Mimi Peterson, Marilyn Propp, I. Carmen Quintana and Gwendolyn C. Skaggs in the Ecoart for Ecofest Vital Art Project show. The project’s goal is to “challenge ideas of indifference and detachment toward life and human interconnectedness to the environment.”


Environmental music

Also new to the event are performance artists with environmentally themed music or spoken word:

  • 10 a.m. Naomi Marie (singer/songwriter, acoustic guitar)
  • 10:45 a.m. Racine County Poet Laureate, Lyrical Lioness (poetry/spoken word)
  • 11 a.m. James Sullivan and Kerry Spitzer (Irish old-time, fiddle/acoustic guitar)
  • Noon Racine County Poet Laureate, Lyrical Lioness (poetry/spoken word)
  • 12:15 a.m. Naomi Marie (singer/songwriter, acoustic guitarist)



All presentations will be held in the Demonstration Kitchen, just around the corner from main display area.

9:30 a.m. “Birds of Racine.” Presenter: Rick Faire, Hoy Audubon Society

10 a.m. “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle in Racine.” Presenter: Jim Palenick, Racine City Administrator

10:30 a.m. “Square Foot Gardening.” Presenter: Sr. Janet Weyker, Eco-Justice Center of Racine

11 a.m. “Energy Plan for Racine.” Presenter: Mayor Cory Mason, City of Racine.

Noon.  “Introduction to Canning.” Presenter:  Heidi Williams


Children’s activities

Hands-on activities will be available for children, including craft activities using natural elements such as seeds and flowers, as well environmental displays, to name a few.

  • Ask the expert. Booths feature enhanced discussions in areas such as gardening, trees, bees, parks, butterflies, composting and “greening” a home.
  • Display booths. Green vendors and display booths stationed in the Lake Building will give visitors the information to live more sustainably as well as information on practices being already done in Southeastern Wisconsin.
  • Electronics recycling. Monitors and TVs with tubes will cost $20 to recycle – all other items are free. Drive-up drop off will be located on the east side of the campus in front of the Technical Building.


A number of the booths will feature demonstrations, such as mini terrariums visitors and make and take home (Gateway Horticulture program); proper pruning techniques (Racine arborist and Gateway Arboriculture program); raised gardens; and composting.

For a guide to all activities for the day, please go to For more information, please contact Jayne Herring, (262) 496-0016.