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FRAMINGHAM – The 11th Annual Framingham Earth Day Festival was held on the Framingham Centre Common yesterday, April 22.

On the 53rd anniversary of the first-ever Earth Day, the 4-hour festival drew nearly 1,000 people.

The Director of the Festival Donna Kramer Merritt is stepping down and received a proclamation from Mayor Charlie Sisitsky, read by City Council Vice Chair Janet Leombruno. Associate Director Isabella Petroni will take over as director in 2024.

The Framingham Public Schools, Downtown Framingham Inc. Daniel’s Table, Transition Framingham, Framingham Garden Club, Framingham Agricultural Committee, and many other green organizations with booths at the festival. Close to 50 booths circled the Common. There were also alpacas, and goats.

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Attendees were entertained by musical performances throughout the day, including students from Centre Music House.

Festival attendees could bring items to be recycled at the event and learning about green and sustainability initiatives.

Mayor Charlie Sisitsky spoke about the City’s green initiatives yesterday.

Mayor Sisitsky said the City is working on developing a Climate Action Plan, which will lay the foundation for community-wide efforts to improve local sustainability and accelerate the transition to net zero emissions by 2050. 

Last year, the Christa McAuliffe Library branch was the first municipal facility to get a solar PV rooftop, and has been producing solar energy to support the library’s electricity consumption.  In addition, solar projects were installed at both Brophy Elementary and Fuller Middle schools, in collaboration with the Framingham Public School District, said the Mayor.

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Framingham has been selected by Eversource for a pilot Geothermal Program, which will bring renewable heating and cooling to a neighborhood in South Framingham. Led by Eversource, this innovative networked heating and cooling system will utilize underground thermal energy and heat pump technology to support homes, businesses, and municipal facilities, explained the Mayor. 

The Mayor also gave a shout out to Keep Framingham Beautiful and its founder Michael Croci and Joe Huddock, who launched the organization when the Earth Day festival was put on hiatus due to the pandemic.

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City Councilors George P. King Jr., John Stefanini, and Leora Mallach were spotted at the festival.

School Committee members Priscila Sousa, Jessica Barnhill, Tiffanie Maskell, Beverly Hugo, and Willie LaBarge were also seen at the festival.

Senate President Karen Spilka, State Rep. Sousa, and State Rep. Kate Donaghue were also in attendance.

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By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.