Oka Kapassa Festival Goes Green

by Staff
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FLORENCE AL-The organizers of the 8th annual Oka Kapassa Festival have joined forces with the In Harmony With Nature initiative for the ultimate salute to Mother Earth. The festival will be held September 7 and 8, 2012, in Spring Park, Tuscumbia, Alabama. Board member Larry Gullett calls the partnership “a natural” and is proud that this event is among the first to embrace the initiative.

In Harmony With Nature (IHWN), which was launched two years ago and continues to gain momentum, is focused on encouraging environmental stewardship by supporting litter-free venues at festivals throughout Northwest Alabama. The concept originated during the planning stages of the 2010 W.C. Handy Music Festival, when sponsors and event coordinators expressed a desire to help brand the Shoals area as a “green” destination for the thousands of tourists who visit here during festival events. During the 2012 Handy Festival all outdoor public concerts were designated as IHWN litter-free events.
“We are very pleased to join forces with the In Harmony With Nature project,” said Gullett. “Native Americans who came here were the original people to embrace environmental consciousness and this program will help us protect Mother Nature for generations to come.”
“The Oka Kapassa Festival is among the first to join the IHWN efforts,” said Nancy Gonce, executive director for the Music Preservation Society. “We believe it is a perfect fit because both groups are committed to honoring and protecting the natural beauty that surrounds us.”
“It has become an integral part of the W.C. Handy Music Festival and is steadily being introduced into other festivals throughout the region.” Gonce said the program’s success is driven by the fact that it is a blended effort involving volunteers, students, not-for-profit organizations, tourism officials, local government agencies and business groups.
Festival coordinators who want to participate in IHWN have access to litter-grabbers, trash bins and recycling bins at no charge. The materials are available through Keep the Shoals Beautiful.
A website has been developed which contains information about how to obtain materials as well as a manual that provides guidelines for hosting litter-free events. For more information visit www.harmonyandnature.net.
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