A Daylong Community Celebration of Our Home Planet
By: Denise Adams

Celebrate and Educate – that’s the formula for EarthFest, which will take place at Christopher Newport University (CNU) on April 26.

EarthFest, is a fun-filled, family-friendly event for the entire community to learn and see how they can help preserve Earth. This celebration, centered around Earth Day, is free and open to the public.

“The goal of EarthFest is to bring the community together to celebrate, explore and protect our home planet,” said Lelia Vann, director of the Science Directorate.

“At NASA Langley, we are dedicated to finding answers to questions that affect the health of our planet and the people on it. With a unique team of innovative thinkers, we are internationally known in the science community.”

Vann explained that EarthFest is an opportunity to share our expertise with the Hampton Roads community while building relationships with our neighbors.

EarthFest logo.Image right: Whats your carbon footprint? Find out at EarthFest. Credit: Tim Marvel/NASA.

Several NASA Langley employees have been working hard to prepare for EarthFest. Their motivation is derived from their hopes of inspiring the community.

“EarthFest gives us the chance to showcase NASA Earth science research, and with our partners we can share local ‘green’ resources, inform the public of ways they can participate in protecting our planet and inspire the community to be more environmentally aware,” Vann said.

At CNU, student volunteers and members of the Institute for Science Education, NASA Langley’s partner for EarthFest, continue their preparation for the daylong celebration.

Randall Caton, head of the Christopher Newport University (CNU) Institute for Science Education, believes that knowledge is important for solving problems. And for the local community, he’s hoping part of the solution is education received through EarthFest.

“We hope to change the way people are doing things. If six million people learned something and acted on that, it would make a difference,” Caton said.

Caton worked at NASA Langley in the Center for Distance Learning for several years.

He explained, “I always go back to the mission statement when I began working at NASA: ‘Understand and Protect the Home Planet.’ ”

“Both CNU and NASA Langley benefit by partnering for this event,” Caton said.

“NASA Langley has the knowledge, exhibits and expertise, and CNU has the community outreach and the space for the event, without any security issues… People won’t have any problems getting onto the campus,” he said.

“Getting so many different partners also brings strength to this program.”

Visitors can enjoy a multitude of exhibits and activities throughout the day from CNU, NASA and partner universities, organizations and businesses in the area.

Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) will have its first hybrid bus on display, and POMOCO will showcase some hybrid cars. There will be a recycled art competition and a recycled fashion show.

Mary Cleave, former NASA associate administrator for science and former astronaut, will be the featured speaker for EarthFest.

EarthFest will feature interactive children's activities, live music and educational activities for all ages. Visitors can view informative planet Earth displays or visit exhibitors showcasing “Earth friendly” products.

• Rain or shine, event is free and open to the public. Free parking at CNU and free overflow parking at Todd’s Stadium on Warwick Blvd. Shuttle buses will be running from 10 am to 5 pm.

To find out more about EarthFest, please visit:

NASA Langley Research Center
Managing Editor: Jim Hodges
Executive Editor and Responsible NASA Official: H. Keith Henry
Editor and Curator: Denise Adams