4th annual EcoFest focuses on conserving Oklahoma with new events

March 15, 2013

Conserving Oklahoma is the theme for the 2013 EcoFest Conference and Festival hosted on Tulsa Community College’s Northeast Campus. The event consists of a one-day conference on March 28 and a one-day festival on March 30 and is designed to educate the community on green practices and trends and to be a celebration of green living. New this year for 2013, student presentations have been added to the one-day conference and a kid’s learning experience (ages 5-9) has been added to the festival.

The conference features three presenters-Marty Matlock, University of Arkansas; Jared Carlson, Arbor Day Foundation; Joe L. Howell, Howell & Vancuren. Matlock serves as Executive Director of the UA Office for Sustainability and is a Program Director in the Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability. Dr. Matlock has authored or edited three books, more than 30 peer reviewed manuscripts, and has been awarded two U.S. patents and five international patents. Carlson is a successful entrepreneur from Nebraska who has been dedicating his efforts towards saving the rain forests and staving off the increasing energy demand facing our Nation. To date, Jared has been instrumental in preserving 52 million square feet of rain forest and setting in motion the saving of over 80 million kilowatt hours. Howell has more than 35 years involved in landscape architecture and site planning and has established a reputation for his innovative approach to projects, outstanding design skills, unique graphic capabilities and communication skills. He is part president of American Society of Landscape Architects, past chairman of the Arts Commission of the City of Tulsa and founding trustee of Preservation Tulsa, just to name a few of his positions and titles.

In addition to the featured speakers on March 28, students will give presentations on topics they have researched with 11 presentations ranging from Living Ecofriendly: Research Outcomes Applied to Today's Lifestyles; Tulsa versus Little Rock in Green Waste Management; Cold Frame Propagation and Wind Turbine Generated Hot Water.

The festival begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 30 with free food, live music, exhibits and cooking demonstrations. Experts will give short workshops on topics such as edible landscape, seed saving, composting, saving the Lesser Prairie Chicken, and the very popular ‘Landscape CPR.’ The activities for children include camel rides, horse-drawn wagon rides and a new feature in educational and interactive programming. Organizers developed a kid’s track that is specifically designed for children between the ages of 5 to 9 to learn about green practices, living green and being good to the environment.

Up With Trees will be at EcoFest again this year to hand out small container trees for planting. The Tulsa based non-profit organization believes every tree planted in Tulsa not only makes our community more beautiful, it makes it more livable. Up With Trees is trying to help grow Tulsa’s urban forest, damaged by wildfires and recent ice storms, tree by tree. Last year, the organization gave away more than 200 trees during the festival.

EcoFest 2013 sponsors are AEP-PSO, Tulsa County OSU Extension office, and Whole Foods.