Urban Grid, a utility scale renewable energy project developer, recently presented a check to sponsor Chestertown’s 2023 Earth Day Festival, a partnership between Washington College’s Center for Environment and Society and the Town of Chestertown. The town-wide festival planned for Earth Day—Saturday, April 22nd—will feature live music along the waterfront, an electric boat race on the river, vendors throughout town, food trucks, children’s activities and more.
Urban Grid’s $12,500 sponsorship will fund the Electric Boat Race stage, a highlight of the festival organized by the College’s Center for Environment & Society, bringing free, live yacht rock music to the community as spectators experience Washington College’s inaugural Electric Boat Race on the Chester River. Additionally, a portion of the company’s sponsorship will fund local green initiatives planned through the Town of Chestertown’s Environmental Committee.
Hosting an electric boat race is a first for Washington College, but the school has been participating in such events since 2017. The College’s IDEAWORKS Innovation Center hosts the Electric Boat Race Team, which brought home a first-place trophy from the Promoting Electric Propulsion Race hosted by the American Society of Naval Engineers last May. Washington College’s team competed against Old Dominion University, Princeton University and University of Kentucky, among others.
“By bringing several teams together to exhibit and compete with their electric boats, we hope to demonstrate to the public that it’s possible to work and play on our waterways without contributing harmful emissions, chancing fuel spills, or pumping oily bilge water,” said Brian Palmer, Washington College electric boat team advisor. “Urban Grid’s dedication to supporting our Earth Day eRegatta greatly amplifies the impact of our efforts.”
The College’s student team is already hard at work redesigning their race boat, so they are in a good position to compete against other schools this April. Officially sanctioned by the American Society of Naval Engineers, Washington College’s race will feature a one-mile marked rectangular course on the Chester River, beginning in front of the Hodson Boathouse. Trophies will be awarded to teams in two different categories—the quarter-mile sprint and the five-mile endurance sprint.
“I think the community is going to have a blast at this event! It’s a real treat for our Center to be able to bring the popular Richmond-based yacht rock band, Three Sheets to the Wind, here to Chestertown,” Center for Environment & Society Event and Outreach Coordinator Carolyn Fuss Thompson commented.”It’s because of Urban Grid that we were able to make this happen, and we are grateful. We hope people will throw on their boat shoes and come out for a fun dance party, helping us kick off our inaugural electric boat race!”
Earth Day Coordinator and Chestertown Environmental Committee Member Andy Goddard explained how the Urban Grid funds will help the town as well.
“The funds will be directed towards two initiatives: mosquito prevention and household composting,” Goddard said. “Additionally, we will use funds to offset costs to recycle materials that are not currently accepted at county operated locations—primarily mercury bulbs, plastic caps, and household alkaline batteries.”
About Chestertown’s Earth Day Festival
Chestertown’s 2023 Earth Day Festival is a town-wide event in its 13thyear. The 2023 festival is organized through a partnership between Washington College and the Town of Chestertown. It will feature a town-wide community trash and recycle walk, electric vehicle and bike displays, free paper shredding, free recycling of household alkaline batteries and fluorescent bulbs, food trucks, children’s activities, exhibitors from solar energy contractors, energy auditors, and conservation organizations, and more. To learn more about the festival, including the electric boat race, and stay up to date with the latest event information, visit the Washington College Center for Environment and Society News and Events Page at www.washcoll.edu/ces.