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Something for all at Synergyfest

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By The Staff

There are a lot of things which can be done to increase comfort, save money, and help protect the environment, all at the same time. Synergy Fest 2008 will feature a wide range of exhibits and activities revealing how those three aims—and others—are in “synergy.”

On board this year is a variety of local and state government and educational agencies, many for the first time. There are many resources available to the community that readers may not be aware of. For example:

•Los Amigos Energy Resources Center will present information on weatherizing homes and how to apply for financial support for those who qualify.

•Las Vegas City Water Department has hints for saving money through water conservation.

•Community Education at Luna Community College now offers courses and general information on xeriscape gardening.

•Tierra y Montes provides information on xeriscaping, watershed restoration, and other land and water concerns.

•New Mexico Energy Conservation Management Division of Energy Minerals and Natural Resources will share info about solar incentives and how to get tax credits for “sustainable” improvements.

•Las Vegas City Solid Waste Department can answer questions on exactly what can and cannot be recycled, and how, and on their vision for future improvements in the recycling program.

•Memorial Middle School’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Program exhibit will feature projects by its students.

•Rio Gallinas Charter School for Ecology and the Arts will once again host the Sunshine Kids village, with “earth-friendly” games and activities such as toy solar car races, entertainment on the Firefly Stage, a “recycle” rummage sale, and a plant sale.

•Luna Community College’s Technologies Department will again showcase solar space heating techniques for our homes and solar-powered electronics, as well as a new item—a homemade wind turbine.

Cooperative Extension Service at NMSU brings information on its support for sustainable agriculture.

Other highlights of this year’s Synergy Fest include:

Commercial vendors will return to demonstrate and take orders for rainwater catchment cisterns, solar water heating systems for domestic water and space heating, and for photovoltaic (solar electric) generation.

The star of the show may be a new exhibit—a wind turbine designed for cost-effective residential use.

Local inventors will display such innovations as bio-diesel vehicles that run on used vegetable oil and biofuels produced from algae.

Habitat for Humanity will explain how they involve community members in building their own “greener” houses.

Indoor workshops on tax incentives, weatherization, photovoltaics (solar electric), wind turbines, domestic hot water systems, and biofuel production are also new this year.

A greater variety of hot food will be available for sale all day.

As always, there will be fantastic live music performances on the main solar-powered stage (which will also be augmented by wind turbines this year).

The Las Vegas Chapter of the New Mexico Solar Energy Association, with New Mexico Highlands University, the Rio Gallinas Charter School for Ecology and the Arts, and Luna Community College, present the fifth annual Synergy Fest, Friday, April 25 and Saturday, April 26 at Melody Park on the NMHU campus. Friday features live music from 3-7 p.m. The main event is on Saturday, with exhibits, vendors, and performances from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

If anyone else is interested in setting up an exhibit at the SynergyFest, contact Lloyd Goding at goding@hughes.com or 454-9122, or Emelie Olson at eolson@desertgate.com or 454-3920.

For all other information, including food or arts & crafts booths, call Justin Kaysing at 425-9106 or email synergyfestinfo@gmail.com