by Joni Astrup
Writer and television personality Ron Schara and his dog, Raven, will be one of the key attractions at the Elk River Energy Expo.
The free Energy Expo will run from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at Elk River High School, 900 School St.
Schara will speak at 10 a.m. about conservation practices.
He will be introduced by Elk River Mayor John Dietz.
Four 15-minute presentations will follow at 11 a.m. They include:
•LEDs versus CFLs by Steven Furlong at LT Solutions Inc.
•Water conservation by Angela Hauge of Elk River Municipal Utilities
•Project Conserve by Vance Zehringer of Elk River Municipal Utilities and Project Conserve participant Melanie Waite-Altringer.
•Recycling and organics by Rebecca Haug and Nicki Blake-Bradley of the city of Elk River
The expo will also include children’s activities provided by District 728 Community Education and Early Childhood Family Education.
Activities include two bounce houses and an energy-themed carnival. Children will also be able to make art projects from recycled materials.
Caribou Coffee will provide free coffee. Other vendors such as Blink Bonnie, Dunn Bros and Sweet P’s Ice Cream and Candies will be selling food.
Prizes will be given away including a rain barrel, a compost bin and a gift basket filled with energy-saving things like CFLs and power strips.
Grand prizes will be three energy audits and one home security system. Winners of the grand prizes must be either Elk River residents or Elk River Municipal Utilities customers.
More than two dozen exhibitors will have booths set up in the high school commons area.
Ross Pomeroy, a Green Corps member working at Elk River City Hall, said many of the exhibitors have “green” products that people can learn about and get some ideas from the exhibitors.
BOB-FM will be broadcasting live from the event and giving away tickets to Moondance Jam.
Spectrum High School students will be volunteering at the event.
Rebecca Haug, Elk River environmental administrator, said the expo is an educational tool for people to learn about different energy-saving technologies and to meet some of the people who can put those technologies in their homes. “It’s easy to do. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money,” Haug said.
The expo also is a way to increase awareness of the fact that Elk River is Energy City, she said.
“There are a lot of good programs going on, and we want to keep the momentum going,” Haug said.
This is Elk River’s fifth Energy Expo. Elk River has been known as “Energy City” since 1997, when the Minnesota Environmental Initiative chose it from over 30 other communities to act as a focal point for the demonstration of efficient and renewable energy products, services and technologies.