A composting workshop with Scott Koepke of SoilMates is among the events scheduled April 19 in Iowa City. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

A composting workshop with Scott Koepke of SoilMates is among the events scheduled April 19 in Iowa City. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

So much is happening in the coming days in Iowa City, beginning this Saturday, April 19, 2014 and running through Earth Week.

Johnson County hosts two Earth Week events next week that are free and open to the public and The Salvage Barn, operated by Friends of Historic Preservation, hosts a daylong event this Saturday that includes recycling for crafts, prairie tours, composting and more.

If you’ve never been to the Salvage Barn, that is worth a trip in itself. It’s a warehouse specializing in historic architectural materials that are 50 years and older. Most items have been salvaged from buildings slated for demolition in Johnson County.

Here is more from the organizations about these upcoming events:

The Salvage Barn, Operated by Friends of Historic Preservation, will hold the First Annual Reuse-Themed Craft Fair, Craft Your Environment, Saturday, April 19, 2014 at the East Side Recycling Center, 2401 Scott Blvd, SE in Iowa City, from 10:00pm to 5:00pm.  The signature event is part of the Earth Day Celebrations occurring throughout the month of April at the East Side Recycling Center.

The purpose of this fair is to showcase the work of artists and crafters who use recycled/reclaimed/reused materials in their creations, in accordance with the Salvage Barn’s mission to keep materials out of the landfill.  Scheduled the weekend before Earth Day, the fair will also present a variety of workshops, activities for children, prairie tours, seed giveaways, and local food.

The event is showcasing the work of more than 30 vendors.  A list of the vendors is located at http://salvagebarn.org/craft-your-environment.html. Local food by Local Burrito, Egg Rolls by Hai, Maestro Empanadas, and Wake Up Iowa City will also be available. Workshops include Composting with Scott Koepke, On the Road Bike Maintenance with Broken Spoke, and Natural Resources and Stormwater Runoff workshops by the City of Iowa City.   Children’s games will also occur throughout the day, including a kickoff event at 10am where children may search the areas around the natural plantings for prizes.  A craft exchange will be set up when crafters may leave unneeded crafting materials and take crafting materials they can use.  There is no charge for attending.  All events are open to the public.

 During this Earth Day celebration, the Salvage Barn and the City of Iowa City strongly encourage individuals to find alternative modes of transportation to the event.  Individuals who walk, ride a bike, or take the bus will be awarded gift cards and offered free return bus passes.  For those who do drive a car, carpooling is strongly encouraged.  Additional parking will be offered next door to the East Side Recycling Center at Systems Unlimited.

Event sponsors include the City of Iowa City, Friends of Historic Preservation, New Pioneer Co-op, Seed Savors Exchange, the University Of Iowa Office Of Sustainability, and Broken Spoke.

Updated Schedule:

10:00-10:30 – Children Prize Hunt

10:30-11:30      Composting Workshop

11:30-12:00      Recycling Relay

12:00-1:00        Bike Repair and Transportation Workshop

1:00-1:30          Prairie Tour

1:30-2:00          Natural Resources Activity

2:00-2:30          Stormwater Workshop

2:30-3:00          Recycling Education

3:00-3:30          Prairie Tour

3:30-4:00          Food Waste Workshop

4:00-4:30          Natural Resources Activity

ALL DAY            Sunflower Seed Planting

ALL DAY            Seed Giveaway Station

ALL DAY            Craft Exchange

The Salvage Barn has been part of Iowa City’s landfill diversion program for over 20 years. In 2013, it diverted more than 80 tons of valuable and reusable material from the landfill.

These Earth Week events are from the Johnson County Sustainability’s Go Green News:

April 22: 11:05 to 11:50 a.m. “Preserving Biodiversity Now and for the Future: The Value of A Land Trust.” Speaker: Liz Maas, restoration ecologist, President, Johnson County Heritage Trust. Location: Room 203B-C (second floor) of the Johnson County Health and Human Services Building, 855 S. Dubuque Street in Iowa City. Attendees may park in the public lot adjacent to the building and are welcome to bring their own bag lunch. Online RSVP encouraged but not required

April 23: Drop off unused or expired medications from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the mobile disposal unit that will be located in the public parking lot of the Johnson County Administration Building, 913 S. Dubuque Street in Iowa City. Personal information on bottles should be removed or marked out. Pet medications also will be accepted. Residents may dispose of sharps and needles that are contained in sealed rigid containers such as coffee cans, laundry detergent bottles or other heavy plastic containers (old milk jugs are not acceptable). The event is offered in partnership with the City of Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center and the Iowa City Police. Details and other drop-off sites.

“Go Green News” is the place to learn about new sustainability programs and projects at Johnson County, as well as those being planned.  Visit other pages to learn about ongoing external efforts, ongoing internal efforts, green milestones, and ways to take action to save resources and/or money at home or work.