Envirofest Singapore

Archive for February 2009

LATEST NEWS! Kolam Ayer YEC has clinched HDB Hub for 6th and 7th June 2009 for Envirofest!

Finally!! Top Number 1 headache for Envirofest is getting the venue. Of course, the Top Number 2 headache is getting the $$$.>

And talking about $$$, having Envirofest in June means we are no longer eligible for SHINE Festival funding. I have been thinking about how Envirofest can leverage on SHINE Festival to make it an even bigger event. So when my friend first broke the news that all weekends of July were fully booked, I broke down. No July = No SHINE Festival = No good funding.

Alright, there is no point licking my wound over this. We immediately booked the best next date which is the beginning of June. It is actually what we wanted in the first place. It will be Great Singapore Sale and the crowd will be impossible!! On top of that, it will also be the start of the school holidays. That means a lot of things: 1) more young children and youths in the crowd; 2) more involvement from interested school groups; 3) various eco groups can have post-Envirofest activities and trips throughout the whole of the school holiday!

Wonderful!

As for the funding, I will continue to source for more options.

Doing Envirofest is not an easy job, especially when I am a lazy pig and procrastinating is my only forte. However, I am grateful that I have a good bunch of friends who are resourceful and more importantly, more hardworking than me!

After sharing my entire things-to-do list for Envirofest with my Best Friend, who happens to be teaching in Anderson Junior College, he exclaimed, “You have found just the right person for this!”

He shared that AJC is trying to let their students participate in some green initiatives, but they still haven’t got anything firm up yet. He recommended me to send invitation and Envirofest proposal to the teacher I/C and see if they are willing to come in as a student group.

This is exactly what I will call as WIN-WIN situation!!

So far, I can sense that AJC is keen, but the teachers are so busy with their work these days that I still haven’t got a YES from them yet.

In my proposal to AJC, I shared with them that Envirofest would need exhibition guides (who are capable of speaking English and Mandarin/Malay/any other dialects) to lead public around our exhibition. On top of that, I am also looking for students who have better writing skills and discipline than me to do reporting and media kit.

This is how we can complement one another! In return, we can put up their school logo for publicity, feature them in our media kit and the students might even receive interviews from the press!

I sincerely hope AJC can be part of the Envirofest team. With more capable people on the team, I am 100% sure we all can achieve higher height!!

Well, we had a first cheery meeting with representatives of various groups who came down for the briefing at the venue Karen (of NParks) had secured for us at Singapore Botanic Gardens. We started off with a few short updates:

  • Wen Hua brought us up to speed with operations (she was excited and spoke very fast),
  • Karen shared how NParks had grown in its exhibition presentation by learning from others and evaluating each effort in order to maximise the impact of outreach,
  • I explained the value of Envirofest we had recognised and how a little preparation and planning might help and
  • Ria explained the significance of the month of July to NYC and SHINE and how Wen Hua was tapped into that.

The community was easily supportive of the practical plan presented about for Envirofest – with everyone struggling with a full schedule in the year, it will be nice to share one major collaborative effort with everyone that maximises our combined attractions.

So the public will get a buffet table of grassroots and governmental efforts in nature and the environment, green products, animal welfare, and hopefully a peek into sustainable living as well. This time there will be an array of trips and events they can sign up for immediately after. Who says nothing in life is free?!

The array of groups and issues on display will also serve as as educational opportunity for green groups in schools and JCs too. A group could pick 2-3 issues that they might to highlight in their own school – at Envirofest they can tap on some very experienced people and material, as well as study the various communication methods in play over the two days. Many of us have already learnt from each other and have been at this for decades, so what better place for mentorship?

Of course, Envirofest will also be an opportunity for the groups to get to know each other well instead of meeting only during the exhibition itself when we are focusing on attending to the public. These early meetings will allow some coordinated effort and I could see wheels already turning that evening about collaboration during the post-Envirofest offerings!

During the discussion that spontaneously interrupted the introductions through out the 90 minutes, a variety of issues were highlighted and evaluated – it was certainly a great delight discussing such issues with a bunch of very experienced practitioners in the local scene! Most have struggled with the issues and so everyone could recognise the value of practical ideas as well as the difficulties of some realities.

But boy, oh boy, does this bunch have the fire burning in them or what? I am really looking forward to meeting them again!

Yesterday many representatives from various eco groups turned up at Botanic Garden at 7.30 pm to discuss about Envirofest.

When I first reached the foodcourt to meet Jamie at 7.10 pm, I already spotted many greenies among the tables. I must admit I was already getting nervous in meeting these veteran green volunteers. I sincerely hope I can garner their support for Envirofest 2009 (and of course various Envirofest in the coming years). Envirofest is really for them!!

Alright, though I was a bundle of nervous energy, I was very amazed at the attendance of this meeting. There were …

  1. Me!
  2. Siva – Toddycats!
  3. Ria – WildSingapore
  4. Karen – NParks
  5. Shawn Lum – Nature Society
  6. Brandon – NEA
  7. Grant – Green Volunteers
  8. Jaki – Sea Shepherd
  9. Gaytri Meriange – Team Seagrass
  10. Yeow – Vegetarian Society
  11. Andy – Team Seagrass
  12. Ann – Waterways Watch Society
  13. James – ACRES
  14. Ley Kun – Naked Hermit Crabs
  15. Debby – The Hantu Bloggers
  16. Eugene – AsiaIsGreen
  17. Grace – SEC
  18. Sherlene – NJC Greenlink
  19. Jamie
  20. Yunus – Kolam Ayer CC
Meeting with friends of Envirofest

Meeting with friends of Envirofest

That was surely an enthusiastic crowd, everyone had some experience to share, an idea to propose and suggestion for improvement!

I forgot when was the last time I had such a dynamic meeting! Hmmm, this was 100% participation from everyone. WOW~

 

This is the summary of what we had discussed and would follow up on:

  • Participating organisations can showcase their works in various creative form. For eg, SEC suggested the very cool Segway (which I’ve always dreamt of inviting to Envirofest); Sea Shepherd hopes to have a huge inflatable shark on display, marine groups can bring diving gears for kids or youths to try on, Toddycats! will bring down their specimens, Team Seagrass has their seagrass on display too!
  • Besides exhibition on the ground, groups which have any public programmes or stage items can use a timeslot on our stage to ra-ra the crowd. 🙂 I am waiting for Dr Vilma to link me up with Woodlands Ring Primary School, heard that they have a skit to share about eco-living. Any organisations which are keen in putting up something, please feel free to inform me.
  • One of the issues we touched on was the giving out of freebies. Some of us were concerned if we could attract crowds without freebies, some agreed that we could use many other forms to entice our audience. We could work more on this in the coming meetings.
  • My own personal objective is to just to introduce the various nature related projects and trips to the public. So I sincerely hope organisations which have exisiting trips or outings could open at least one session to allow public to sign up during Envirofest. This could be one of the freebies we can give out. For those who don’t do trips, I hope we can come out with some post-event activities with our creativity and capacity.
  • I am still in the midst of applying for grant and venue. Will continue to update everyone~
  • Together with NJC Greenlink, we will continue getting more organisations and clubs to join Envirofest.