Students at Valley Montessori School plan to leave nothing behind when they host a Harvest Festival for the community on Friday, Oct. 4.

“We invite families and neighbors to come spend the afternoon building community, celebrating all-things-fall, and learning to be more mindful about waste reduction,” said Molly Oto, the school’s community relations coordinator. “This year, Valley Montessori School — a California Green Business — is increasing awareness about sustainability at our Harvest Festival.”

The festival takes place on the school campus, 1273 N. Livermore Ave., from 3 to 6 p.m.

“At our annual Harvest Festival, families enjoy coming together on our beautiful campus, exploring the pumpkin patch, joining in games and crafts, and dancing to live music,” Oto said. “Garden enthusiasts can bring their questions to the master gardener available in our Edible Schoolyard, which features fruit trees, garden boxes and egg-laying chickens. Fresh jams and pies will be available for purchase from a local farm. We encourage attendees to bring reusable water bottles to keep this event green.”

Conservation consultant David Darlington has been working with the school to create a low-waste event.

“By working with vendors, staff, students and participants, the goal is to have the smallest amount of event solid waste going to landfill,” Darlington said. “As students understand what is going on with the wellbeing and health of the planet, they realize that they are the ones who will need to be the instruments of change, as their very lives are at stake.

“The 4Rs is one of the tenets for a sustainable world. Past and present generations have sacrificed the health of the planet in exchange for money, comfort and laziness,” the Livermore resident continued. “If the kids of today aren't provided the education and the opportunity to slow down, stop and reverse the damage, we run the risk of catastrophic consequences for all life on the planet.”

While festival organizers aim to create an event short on waste, they don’t plan to skimp on fun. The festival will include face painting, a petting zoo, live music, a pumpkin patch, an obstacle course, crafts for all ages, and food trucks selling delicious crepes, traditional barbeque, ethnic food, and Italian ice. All are invited to attend.

“We hope students enjoy the deep sense of community at our school, and enjoy the fall season outdoors,” Oto said. “Our students are fantastic educators and our Harvest Festival is an opportunity for them to share their knowledge and passions about recycling.”

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