This year's MCC Green Living Expo to focus more on agricultural resources

 
 
Updated 10/11/2018 7:40 PM
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  • Paul LaBarbera, right, president of Magitek Energy Solutions, talks about solar panels with attendees of McHenry County College's annual Green Living Expo. This year's expo on Nov. 3 will feature some of the same vendors and also focus more on agriculture.

    Paul LaBarbera, right, president of Magitek Energy Solutions, talks about solar panels with attendees of McHenry County College's annual Green Living Expo. This year's expo on Nov. 3 will feature some of the same vendors and also focus more on agriculture. Courtesy of McHenry County College

  • Students from Northern Illinois University and Northwestern University will display high-mileage and solar cars and educate attendees at McHenry County College's annual Green Living Expo on Nov. 3. The expo will feature a variety of sustainable resources and vendors, electric cars, and electric and conventional bikes.

    Students from Northern Illinois University and Northwestern University will display high-mileage and solar cars and educate attendees at McHenry County College's annual Green Living Expo on Nov. 3. The expo will feature a variety of sustainable resources and vendors, electric cars, and electric and conventional bikes. Courtesy of McHenry County College

  • McHenry County College's annual Green Living Expo on Nov. 3 will feature a variety of sustainable resources and vendors, sustainable artwork by local artists, luxury electric cars and conventional cars remodeled to be electric, and electric and conventional bikes.

    McHenry County College's annual Green Living Expo on Nov. 3 will feature a variety of sustainable resources and vendors, sustainable artwork by local artists, luxury electric cars and conventional cars remodeled to be electric, and electric and conventional bikes. Courtesy of McHenry County College

McHenry County College's 11th annual Green Living Expo set for Nov. 3 will have more of an agricultural focus, officials said.

The free expo will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in MCC's Gym and parking lot B, 8900 Route 14 in Crystal Lake.

Roughly 1,100 people attended last year's expo. Its purpose is helping residents make better choices about what they eat, buy or grow, said Kim Hankins, MCC director of sustainability.

It will showcase more than 100 area green businesses and organizations, helping attendees explore eco-friendly ideas, including household products, toys, skin care, beekeeping, and energy efficient options for home and business. Several new farms, agriculture-related organizations and products also will be featured.

The emphasis on agriculture this year is due to the Crystal Lake college working toward developing an urban agricultural program through a $500,000 grant. MCC's new Director of Urban Agriculture Alissa Moore is researching existing efforts to help create the program, Hankins said.

Among the expo's biggest sponsors is the Food Shed Co-op, a community-owned group seeking to build a full-service grocery store in McHenry County.

"They are trying to find a location right now and looking at a possible partnership with the college," Hankins said.

Participating vendors include the Northern Illinois Beekeepers Association, Woodstock Farmer's Market, Silver Prairie Natural Soap Company of Woodstock, Terra Vitae Farms in Woodstock and Smart Farm of Barrington.

Representatives with Terra Vitae Farms, which primarily raises pigs, chickens and sheep, will talk about purchasing produce locally, and Smart Farm of Barrington will provide resources on creating sustainable gardens and healthy eating.

A 2,500-gallon fish tank display populated by the Illinois Department of National Resources with species of fish from the Chain O' Lakes will be parked outside the exhibit area. Other attractions include solar installers, sustainable artwork by 15 local artists, electric cars, and electric and conventional bikes.

MCC's hybrid engine truck will be part of the clean transportation exhibit, including solar and super-mileage team race cars from area universities.

The expo is sponsored by the McHenry County College Sustainability Center and 25 businesses and community organizations. For more information, visit mchenry.edu/greenexpo, contact the MCC Sustainability Center at (815) 479-7765 or at sustainability@mchenry.edu.

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