Going Green at Centennial Lakes Farmers’ Market

Edina Go Green distributes free reusable bags at Centennial Lakes farmers’ market.
Edina Go Green's reusable bags in use at Centennial Lakes farmers' market.

From the first fruits of spring to fall’s bountiful harvest, Centennial Lakes farmers’ market features dozens of local vendors amid beautifully landscaped pathways at Centennial Lakes Park. Maybe you’ve dropped in and loaded up on some of the market’s tasty, fresh produce. Members of Edina Go Green hope that when you did, you toted your veggies home in a reusable bag. Edina Go Green is a group of concerned citizens dedicated to making the city of Edina a leader in sustainability. This summer, Edina Go Green, with the cooperation of the City of Edina, has broadened its efforts to reduce or eliminate consumer use of disposable plastic shopping bags. The group is doing this by distributing free reusable bags from 3 to 7 p.m. each Thursday from June through September at Centennial Lakes farmers’ market, to encourage and remind shoppers to bring their own reusable bags every time they shop.“Edina Go Green has embarked on an endeavor to change a mindset,” says City Councilmember Mary Brindle. “Their efforts are a great first step toward embracing the idea of a no-plastic zone.”The group looked to Mill City farmers’ market in Minneapolis as a model. The Mill City market is not only a no-plastic zone, but it is also the first zero-waste market in Minnesota. All waste generated at the market from food sales, samples and events is composted or recycled.“We may be preaching to the choir at farmers’ markets where many shoppers are already aware of pollution caused by single-use bags,” says Aileen Foley of Edina Go Green. “But our goal is to inspire all shoppers to remember to bring their own bags to Centennial Lakes farmers’ market. And hopefully, plastic bags will one day become a thing of the past.”The reusable bags were purchased with a grant from the Edina Community Foundation. Foundation executive director Dick Crockett says as much as 90 percent of funds donated to the foundation are designated for specific purposes; the foundation then directs grants from those designated funds.Edina Go Green approached the foundation to be its charitable partner and became a designated beneficiary fund of the foundation. Money raised by and for Edina Go Green is donated to the Edina Community Foundation and designated to this specific beneficiary fund. Supporters and members of Edina Go Green raised most of the money for the reusable bags. Those funds are then managed, accounted for and dispersed by the foundation.“Partnering with Edina Community Foundation is a good deal for nonprofits,” says Crockett. “We take care of managing their charitable contributions and ensuring nonprofits like Edina Go Green remain in good standing.”The main focus areas for the Edina Community Foundation include beautifying the city, bringing people together, enhancing security and helping neighbors. In addition to environmental causes such as Edina Go Green, the Edina Community Foundation has money available for helping children, seniors, families, and supporting sports and other community organizations. For more information about becoming a donor or corporate sponsor in support of Edina Go Green or another designated beneficiary, visit edinacommunityfoundation.org.