Get a West Texas-style introduction to all things environmentally sustainable Oct. 26-27 at the Terlingua Green Scene Sustainability Festival. Held at Terlingua Ghost Town, the festival will include demonstrations on everything from solar power and sustainable gardening to making papercrete and recycling.
“I hope that visitors who come to Green Scene will see and appreciate the beauty of our area and learn how you can coexist with natural environments while preserving the beauty of nature and dark skies for future generations to enjoy,” says Sara Colando, coordinator of the festival, a joint project of Terlingua Community Garden and Big Bend Ranch State Park.
The theme of the 11th annual edition of the festival is “Save Our Stars.” Rangers from the state park will offer demonstrations on light pollution, dark sky preservation, and astrophotography, as well as a “lights out” program for communities. Terlingua is a gateway community to Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park, both of which have been designated as “Dark Sky Parks” by the International Dark Sky Association. Taken together, the area is the largest contiguous area of protected night sky in the United States.
“Both parks and Terlingua have seen increased development and visitation over the last three years,” explains Amber Harrison, an interpretive ranger at the state park. “This event is a great way to teach best practices in sustainable living that visitors can take back home to share with their communities.”
Along with the environmental sustainability demonstrations, the festival will host entertaining activities for kids, including face painting, fortune telling, and pumpkin painting. Austin band Doug Strahan and the Good Neighbors will play for a dance party at 8 p.m.
The weekend also features a charity auction with artwork, hand-crafted jewelry, and other donated items. The “piece de resistance” is a 6-by-8-foot mural depicting a desert scene with Day of the Dead characters around a campfire, painted by local artists Molly Finnerty, Matt Stevens, Peter Clementi, Benjamin Towers, and Kathleen Anna Tirrell. Auction proceeds will go to Terlingua Community Garden and Terlingua Dark Sky Alliance.