Hopewell Valley Green Week focuses on the environment

Photo courtesy of Hopewell Valley Green Week
A Hopewell Valley Green Week poster

The second annual Hopewell Valley Green Week, a series of environmentally-themed events, is set to occur April 18-24. 

The events will include a variety of in-person as well as online experiences in the Hopewell Valley schools and community.

The keynote speaker will be Harriet Shugarman, executive director of Climate Mama and author of “How to Talk to Your Kids About Climate Change.”

Shugarman will speak with students in all the Hopewell Valley schools and will also share an evening presentation to the community on April 21.

Shugarman’s visit is supported through a grant from the Hopewell Valley Education Foundation.  

Green Week will kick off with Hopewell Valley Regional School District (HVRSD) Wellness Day on April 18. District schools will be closed to provide an opportunity for families to get outside and enjoy the many parks and trails in and around Hopewell Valley. 

Other events taking place during Green Week include building-based activities at all six Hopewell Valley schools, such as nature walks, a color run, student expos on climate change, environmentally-themed read-alouds, film discussions, planting of native plants and trees, lessons on green infrastructure, school grounds cleanups, plastics recycling collections, student environmental pledges, poster competitions, and more, according to a press release.   

Green Week will also be an opportunity for all the schools to celebrate their achievement of River-Friendly certification from the Watershed Institute. Hopewell Valley Regional Schools is the first district to obtain this environmental recognition for all of its schools, according to the release.   

Many district-based Green Week events this year will focus on climate change. In March, students from Hopewell Valley Central High School Youth Environmental Society presented a Climate Action Proposal to the Hopewell Valley Board of Education as part of the New Jersey Student Climate Challenge. A video documenting their work will be available for viewing on the Bulldog TV Youtube channel during Green Week.

On April 19, Waterspirit Executive Director and Good Grief Network group leader Blair Nelsen will give a community talk on managing distress related to a changing environment. 

Earth Day Film Night will take place in the Central High School (CHS) Performing Arts center on April 22 and will feature “2040,” “a story of hope that looks at the very real possibility that humanity could reverse global warming and improve the lives of every living thing in the process.” 

On April 23, the CHS Youth Environmental Society and the Hopewell Valley Green Team will join together to host a Repair Cafe at Central High. This in-person event will allow community members to get help with repairing common household items as well as learn more about the international movement to reduce consumption, waste, and planned obsolescence. 

On April 24, the Hopewell Valley Green Team will outline tips to improve household energy efficiency and other ways to decarbonize the home.

In preparation for the ban of New Jersey’s statewide ban of plastic bags on May 4, HVRSD’s Green Team is partnering with Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space (FoHVOS) to distribute reusable tote bags to each student as a way to reduce plastic bag pollution and the effects of plastic on the environment. 

Green Week will also include the return of Eco-Trivia Night, a fundraiser for the Outdoor Equity Alliance, whose mission is to “to create experiences that inform and inspire people of all ages, ethnicities, and income levels to enjoy nature and the outdoors.”

Food for Thought: The Oyster Farmers Film Plus Supper Club and Discussion, featuring Carolyn Klaube from The Sourland Conservancy, will take place at the Hopewell Theater on April 19. 

The Watershed Institute will host the presentation Backyard Composting with Priscilla Hayes on April 20. 

The Hopewell Branch of the Mercer County Library System will present Roosevelt’s Tree Army: The History of the Civilian Conservation Corps with historian Mary Rasa on April 21. 

The weekend will include a variety of activities to choose from, including The Watershed Institute’s 16th Annual Stream Clean Ups, Potato Planting and Barn Swallow Celebrations at Howell Living History Farm, a “Naked Running Man” Nature Walk at Fiddler’s Creek Preserve organized by FoHVOS, and Small Space Gardening at the Pennington Public Library.  

More information about Hopewell Valley Green Week can be found at https://sites.google.com/hvrsd.org/hopewellvalleygreenweek.