The 35th Annual Telluride Bluegrass included the most campers at the festival in a decade. With the late addition of the Telluride High School campground we were able to accomodate a few more folks than last year - nearly 3,800 festivarians. These campers were spread out in six different campgrounds around Telluride - Town Park, Warner Field, Telluride High School, Lawson Hill, Mary Ilium, and the Coonskin RV lot. This does not take into account the campers in non-Planet Bluegrass-managed campgrounds.
With so many folks camping this year, it was more important than ever that everyone make a serious effort in embracing the “leave no trace” camping philosophy. To encourage this behavior, we (with a lot of help from the fine folks at the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics) instituted the 1st annual “How Green Is Your Grass?” sustainable campsite challenge.
Festivarians nominated themselves or other campsites and each day we chose a winner from the stack of nomination forms. Congratulations to the 4 daily winners: Camp Run A Muck, Camp Liam & Lilly, Camp Soap Box, and Camp Tucson Revival.
On Monday morning, after the completed campground pack-out and cleanups, we chose the winner - recipients of Town Park camping passes for the 2009 Festival (these tickets that can only be purchased through an online lottery in the fall).
Congratulations to the winning campsite: Camp Run A Muck. We were very impressed with all the efforts of this camp in the areas of cleanliness, sustainability, and creativity. Including:
- Washable dishes
- carpooling to the festival
- purchased food staples locally
- no bottled water or canned beer- all beer was served from kegs
- used solar power for all lighting and electronics
- using a three system waste station- compost, recycling and landfill
- hosted 30 campers throughout the week
At the wrap-up meeting with the town of Telluride after the Festival, several town officials mentioned how impressed they were with the pack-out from this year’s campers, calling this year’s cleanup “markedly better” than past years.
We provided compostable bags to many of the campers (thanks to the folks at Eco-Products). This proved to be very helpful in encouraging sites to compost throughout the week. Next year we’ll be working to get more of these bags out to campers. We hope to have final waste numbers (compost, recycling, landfill, etc.) from the festival and campgrounds in the next few weeks.
Thanks to everyone for camping by the leave-no-trace philosophy. We heard comments from lots of festivarians that the leave no trace ethic was really taking hold - as they found themselves instinctively picking up tiny pieces of trash as they wandered the campgrounds. Well done, everyone.
It was great to see the discussions about sustainable camping at the Festivarian Forum both before and after the festival. The “green campsite challenge” has received well over 100 responses with nearly 4,000 views.
For those Festivarians attending Rocky Grass and Folks Fest, be sure to go green and enter the â€œHow Green Is Your Grassâ€ Campsite Challenge at each of these Lyons festivals. We’ll be offering on-site camping passes for 2009 to the winners at each festival. (Check out the details for the RockyGrass contest and the Folks Fest contest.