Big crowd shows for Belleville’s first green fair

More than 1,000 residents turned out for the Belleville’s first-ever green fair at Belleville High School.

The three-hour event was a partnership between the Township of Belleville and the Belleville Public Schools, attracting residents of all ages.

The environmental fair focused on educating attendees about local green initiatives, including displays from the municipal Department of Public Works, the Green Team, student groups and other organizations that strongly advocate for the environment.

As part of its display, the Green Team gave away three rain barrels and a compost barrel, as examples of how residents might practice more environmentally-sustainable methods at home. There were also displays about recycling, an eco-lifestyle and Sustainable Jersey, an event sponsor.

“The ongoing education of our children was a primary objective in our first-annual Green Fair,” Belleville Mayor Michael Melham said.  “As they are the future, it is important for students to learn the value of environmental stewardship from the earliest of ages. So we created the fun-filled day, in partnership with the board of education, filled with kid-centered games, activities and, we hope, plenty of great memories.”

The fair included face painting, a DJ playing music, a performance from the Redhawk Native American Arts, a puppeteer, food vendors and many other elements of a real carnival atmosphere.

Belleville Schools Superintendent Richard Tomko said environmental stewardship is an important component in the district’s curriculum, even in the earliest grades.

“From the outset of their education in Belleville, our students learn the tremendous importance of the environment and the role they play as citizens,” Tomko said. “Community events, such as the Green Fair, reinforce those positive messages and underscore that the entire community also prioritizes the environment. Based on the tremendous turnout from our community, the students certainly were reminded, once again, that Belleville is proud to be green.”

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.