Rochester's 3rd annual Earth Fest has begun. It runs from April 17 through April 23, 2017.
Earth Fest 2017 is dedicated to greening our community and building a healthier planet right here in Southeastern, Minnesota.
But the event was inspired by a different event.
"Three years ago there was a world-wide climate march in New York City and several places all over the globe," said Earth Fest Founder, Mary Idso. "My husband and I knew we couldn't travel to New York City so we decided to have a climate march to draw attention to that issue here in Rochester and then going forward we wanted to do something environmentally related."
They decided to connect this environmental event with Earth Day, and that led to Earth Fest.
"I think people all over are looking for ways they can make a difference and learn about all the things they can be doing," said Idso.
Earth Fest will be teaching people about what they can be doing with several events, one of which is a tour of Idso's Near Net Zero Home.
"We have had this plan for a long time and wanted to build a home that was energy efficient and as we age and look to retire we wanted to have our cost reduced too so we figured that was a great way to do it," said Idos. "We have a wonderful super insulated home, and solar panels on it."
The founders interest in protecting the earth stemmed from something very simple.
"We have grandkids, and we want to have something great to pass on to them," said Idso.
Chris Cavanagh brought his high school-aged son, Christopher, to the Earth Fest kick off at the Rochester Public Library to see 'Bill Nye's Global Meltdown' because they also want to preserve Earth for future generations and they're already doing their part.
"We try turn off anything we're not using them," said 10th grader, Christopher Cavanagh. "We plan to get solar panels installed some day, and the entire family's cars are all Priuses. My mom and my brother have hybrids and my dad has a fully electric car, so every little bit helps."
Click here for a list of the Earth Fest events as well as more details about Earth Fest.