Coon Rapids Green Expo is back for a third year

Coon Rapids’ third annual Green Expo takes place Saturday, April 14, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Coon Rapids Civic Center.

Lonnie Dupre

Lonnie Dupre

The event will feature a wide range of local businesses, services and featured speakers with a focus on sustainability and the environment, according to Colleen Sinclair, Coon Rapids Recycling Center coordinator and organizer of the Green Expo.

“Our expo will give you the tools to find your shade of green living inside or outside your home,” Sinclair said.

Some 40 exhibitors have committed to be part of the Green Expo to date, she said.

Keynote speaker is polar explorer Lonnie Dupre, a Minnesota native who has traveled over 15,000 miles throughout the high Arctic and polar regions by dog team, ski and kayak over the past 25 years.

Dupre’s presentation in the council chambers will take place from 10:30 a.m. to noon and includes a book signing of his book, “Life on Ice.”

Prior to Dupre’s keynote address, Houle Insulation will make a presentation in the council chambers from 9:30 to 10 a.m.

Following Dupre into the council chambers will be a representative from Mr. Michael Recycles Bicycles who will speak about bicycle maintenance.

Then Coon Rapids resident and gardener Marcia Baudino, who grows enough produce in her garden yard to make meals for her family year-round, will make a presentation from 1 to 1:45 p.m.

At 2 p.m. there will be a raffle drawing for two cistern rain barrels and two Earth Machine compost bins. People must be present in the council chambers to win.

Hands-on activities for children include working with the Coon Rapids High School’s Eco-teens group on a make and take project from recycled materials.

There will also be a book exchange for people to bring gently used books for others to read and find one for themselves.

According to Sinclair, the goal of the Green Expo is to educate the community and residents on leading a sustainable lifestyle and what that involves.

“We will assist you in discovering your individual ‘shades of green’ and bring many local businesses and services together to help you,” Sinclair said.

Many local businesses and services offer sustainable products or have “green” business practices behind the scenes of which the public is not aware, she said.

“We locate these businesses or services and bring them into focus to guide people on the path to a sustainable lifestyle,” Sinclair said.

The Green Expo started in 2010 as a partnership between the city of Coon Rapids and its Sustainability Commission.

The commission comprises Coon Rapids residents who have an interest in the environment and sustainable living practices for the future.

The event is free and open to the public.

The Coon Rapids City Center is located at 11155 Robinson Drive N.W.

Peter Bodley is at peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com

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