GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

April 12, 2013

'Scavenger hunt' spotlights green gains

By Gail McCarthy
Staff Writer

---- — A local group dedicated to building community has organized an Earth Day scavenger hunt filled with puzzles and an environmental twist, with a springtime Farmer’s Market to be held at a nearby church as part of this event.

The Cape Ann TimeBank is working to make the community more aware of the green technology used by Gloucester businesses, and to that end has organized a scavenger hunt called the “Eco-Trip.”

The event takes place on April 20 from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., with a discount for those who register by tomorrow. As participants stroll downtown, they will visit up to eight businesses where they will find crossword puzzles, mazes, acrostics, and other types of puzzles, that once solved, will reveal the green features of local stores and what they are doing to reduce their carbon footprints.

Organizers encourage participants to walk to each business. The Eco-Trip route is about a mile and a half, and the event will culminate with an after party with light refreshments and prizes from local merchants at Latitude 43 at 2:30 p.m.

The eight participating businesses are: Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, Cape Ann Farmers’ Market, Nor’east Cleaners, Jim’s Bagel & Bake Shoppe, Harbor Health Group, Dogtown Books, Mill River Consulting, and Latitude 43. Eco-Trip banners have been put up this week in front of the sponsoring businesses.

”The Cape Ann TimeBank is about building community and sustainability,” said Nancy Goodman, a co-founder of the organization established here in 2006.

As part of the Eco-Trip event, the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce at 33 Commercial St. in Gloucester is providing free shredding services as part of the Earth-Day celebration from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Susan Lucas, the chamber’s director of operations, said anyone can bring up to two file boxes of documents to be shredded. The shredded paper will then be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.

The Farmers’ Market will hold a early spring market at the Unitarian Universalist Church at the corner of Middle and Church streets in Gloucester from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. when 20 vendors will offer seed and seedlings, produce, baked goods, jams, and more.

“The Eco-Trip is designed to be fun, healthy and educational,” Goodman said. “It’s a great way to exercise your brain and body.”

This event is also a fund-raiser for the Cape Ann TimeBank. The cost is $10 to play solo or in teams, if registered by April 13. After that, the cost is $15. Players can register online and learn more about the Eco-Trip at: www.capeanntimebank.org.

As an added bonus, those who register will receive a free book “Sharing the Ocean” by Michael Crocker, offered by Niaz Dorry, the coordinating director of the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance and a TimeBank member.

The mission of the TimeBank is to strengthen the community by members offering their services to each other and to community groups without the use of monetary currency. Instead, for every hour of service a member offers, he or she is eligible to ask for an hour of help in return.

For more information on the hunt or the TimeBank, contact Judy Bloomfield at 1judybloomfield@gmail.com or 978-281-0088.

Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3445, or at gmccarthy@gloucestertimes.com.