Downtown Homestead and Losner Park buzzed with activity as hundreds of residents, tourists, and nature-enthusiasts gathered for the second annual Homestead Eco Fair. Attendees connected with environmental organizations, enjoyed organic food, learned about South Florida ecosystems, and encountered live animals. Plus, there were a host of performances, speakers, and demonstrations.
The Homestead National Parks Trolley, which provides free ranger-guided tours and free admission to nearby Everglades and Biscayne National Parks, was over capacity during its tours at the event. The Trolley program, spearheaded by Councilman Stephen Shelley, will continue to offer free rides and admission every weekend through May 1, 2016.
The Homestead Eco-Fair, organized by the City of Homestead in partnership with Homestead Main Street, offered a chance for residents and visitors to connect with nature and celebrate Homestead’s leadership in environmental stewardship. As the Gateway to Biscayne and Everglades National Parks, the City of Homestead has a long-standing commitment to ensuring a high quality environment for its residents and future generations.
Pérez Art Museum Miami took the opportunity to introduce their Inside Out Art Exhibit in Losner Park, which features outdoor reproductions of art pieces in the Museum’s permanent collection. Participants explored the art on display and create their own works of art based on what they experienced. Also present at the fair was Artists in Residence in the Everglades, an organization that facilitates the creation of art in the wilderness of the Everglades.
Miami-Dade County residents were able to exchange three old light bulbs for energy saving compact fluorescent light bulbs and exchange up to two water-wasting showerheads for water efficient models thanks to the Miami-Dade County Extension Office. Homestead Public Services Energy division was also there to discuss energy efficiency, energy rebates, free home energy surveys, the surge protection program, and their own light bulb exchange.
Miami–based improv troupe Front Yard Theatre Collective delighted children and adults alike with special eco-themed improv games and kids’ activities. The event also featured live music from Above the Skyline, a Homestead-born rock band with varying styles and influences that create a unique sound, and performances from the Homestead City Ballet.
Parents and children also took advantage of Kiwanis Club of Homestead/South Dade's "Just One Book" program. The Kiwanis gave away free children's books to attendees. Om-Stead yoga hosted an outdoor yoga demonstration that explored the connection between health, nature, and fitness.
Also represented were: Above the Skyline, Air Base K-8 Center, Artists in Residence in Everglades, Bee Heaven Farm, Beneath the Waves, Inc., Calendula Clothes, City of Homestead, Crandon Park Visitor Center, Everglades Preparatory Academy, Farmworkers Association, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Python Patrol, Florida Forest Service, Florida Native Plant Society, Front Yard Theatre Collective, Gateway Environmental, Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida, Homestead City Ballet, Homestead Main Street, Homestead Public Services Energy, Homestead Run Club, Jiva Accessories, Kiwanis Club of Homestead/South Dade, The Little Farm, Miami-Dade County Extension Office, Miami-Dade County Elections, Miami Waterkeeper, National Park Service, Nic & Luc Fine Food Purveyors, Om-Stead Yoga, R.L. Chaplin Photography, Inc., Redland Spices, Sweet Vine, Inc., Urban Habitat, Verde Community Farm & Market, The Vitamin Shoppe.
For more information on the Homestead National Parks Trolley, running every weekend through May 1, 2016, visit: www.cityofhomestead.com/gateway