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Annual conference addresses sustainability issues for state



The Oklahoma Sustainability Network will paint the state green Friday and Saturday in an attempt to provide public awareness of the ecological issues facing Oklahoma.

For this year's annual conference " its seventh " OSN is moving beyond the fundamentals of sustainability to focus on some of the less obvious methods of environmental consciousness, such as recycled art installations and green architecture and design.

The event's theme, "Red Dirt, Green Culture: Growing Sustainable Communities," aims to highlight the steps that must be taken in order to create a sustainable society.

"One thing we're really excited about is having examples of what people are already working on," said Angela Chase, chair of the conference's art committee. "It's not just an idea, but something that's feasible. People are already doing their part, as far as green design and farming and things like that."

The conference will feature presentations on the key sustainability issues facing Oklahomans " from biofuel production to buying locally produced goods.

Friday's keynote speaker, Julie Frieder, an environmental analyst for the Calvert Group, will speak about making socially responsible investments. On Saturday, author and founder of Virginia's Polyface Farms Joel Salatin will present the keynote address "Dancing with Dinner."

Among the many workshops aimed at Oklahoma's grown-up citizens, OSN has also added a special track this year for the state's younger residents. "Growing Up Green" will give children ages 3 through 12 an opportunity to learn about the sustainability issues facing their generation through alternative teaching methods such as storytelling and art projects. "Chris Willard

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