Asbury Park: Since Pete Seeger adopted the sloop he named Clearwater 40 years ago the NJ Friends of Clearwater (NJFC) have celebrated Mother Earth annually, the most recent 12 years at Sunset Park in Asbury. It’s a charming park, with a lake that harbors ducks and swans and little islands almost close enough to step out to. This year’s festival was free, with the variety of entertainment that brings friends back each summer.
Storms in the area kept attendance down on Saturday for the one-day event, but banners and exhibit tents with samples of how to care for the environment - and how to rescue it- got the message out to all who could make it.
Ken Wolski, U.S. Senate candidate for the Green Party, and Linda Baum, candidate for Middletown Township Committee, were on site sharing their views, along with local dignitaries in support of the event. They joined the Sierra Club, the Monmouth County Environmental Partnership, the five-town Whalepond Brook Watershed Association and a long list of vendors and businesses touting the efforts of the NJFC mission.
Raffles, donations and fund raisers helped the financing this year, a change from earlier events. “It was the intention to keep the Festival available to as many as we could” said Board member Ed Dlugosz, who chaired the Environmental Roundtable this year. The Executive Board members Joellen Lundy, Jim Franchi provided the lead hip to the 15 team members who make the event work.
Special thanks went to the city, Mayor Ed Johnson and the city’s departments who did their part in the success of Clearwater. The volunteers at the Circle of Song, and the Main Stage and Acoustic Stage entertainers enjoyed the applause from the small but appreciate audiences.