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Biodiversity State Fair

A festival to document and celebrate local biodiversity - both wild and agricultural.

Photo of Delia Kulukundis
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A BioBlitz is a 24-hour event with the purpose of recording as many species as possible within a given area. The events are intended to bring public awareness to biodiversity, so are often held in public parks (local or national), with open participation, including volunteer scientists, families, school groups, scout groups, and other community members.

I propose a similar event to celebrate wild biodiversity and agricultural diversity, a combination bioblitz and state fair.  A bioblitz has a home base where teams meet and species are recorded, so I propose that local farmers be invited to the home base, where they can show off the heirloom varieties that they've conserved, the other varieties they've bred, or any other unique species or cultivars that they have.

It might work well as a two-day event, where day one is go-out-and-search day (in public areas and on farms, with permission), and day two is storytelling and sharing day, which would give farmers a public forum to tell the stories behind the heirlooms, and discuss the methods they've used to preserve wild biodiversity on their farms.  State fairs are usually based around competition, with prizes to the largest pumpkin or pig, or best cheese, but this festival would be about celebrating biodiversity and heirloom varieties, and might have a prize for the farm with the most number of species recorded - a state fair for permaculture.

There are a lot of great festival concepts that combine farmers and foodies, and a lot of those ideas could work well with this one - the challenge is to keep it from getting too complicated, and to keep the emphasis on biodiversity.

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