Body & Brain Yoga and Tai Chi instructor Mané Andreasyan was at the event to assist residents in making a pledge to their body, community and earth through small changes in their daily life.
Some residents chose to help the community by shopping locally and using a reusable tote bag to reduce plastic. Others said they would start eating natural foods.
“When we’re healthier, we make happier and smarter choices,” Andreasyan said. “It’s about starting from the individual and going to global. We can’t really wait for government legislation to change, we’ve got to do it ourselves.”
At a station that provided healthy snacks and fruit-infused water, volunteer Joyce Peprah spoke to the community about the city’s safe tap water and using food scraps for compost.
“We want to encourage people to drink tap water because New York City tap water is pretty clean and some of the best water for you,” Peprah said. “We’re responsible for the earth but sometimes we forget, and if we take these small initiatives, hopefully it will also encourage others to do the same.
“You don’t have to do it on a grand scale, start in your neighborhood and in your own backyard,” she added. “Plant vegetables and fruits to feed yourself and then the compost will feed the earth.”
Through the event, the club encouraged residents to live mindfully for a sustainable world.
Activities included planting flowers near the playground, kite making, a tai chi demo, acting workshop, presentations from city agencies, a wellness and health station, chalk mural and live music.
The event also consisted of an outdoor photo gallery that featured the 10 winners of a photo contest showcasing local parks. Earth Citizens Club of Queens founder Amy Long and several judges selected the top 14 photos from the dozens of submissions and the community voted on the top ten.
“Mirror” by Cyntia Gomar was chosen as the first-place winner. The photograph depicts a crystal clear reflection of Forest Park’s trees in a puddle of water.
Chen Pan and her family recently moved to the neighborhood and stumbled upon the art festival while on a trip to the park.
“This is a really cool event,” Pan said. “It’s great for the kids because they learn to appreciate the earth and how to take care of it.”