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Festival shows ways of world awareness

Floridians aspiring to environmental correctness had their chance Sunday during a festival of everything from organically grown vegetables to petitions protesting the cutting of oak trees. Leslie Frederiksen, who organized the third Environmental Awareness Festival at the Red Roe Restaurant, said she hoped 2,500 people would show by the end of the day. Visitors bought seafood and drinks and browsed through displays by the Audubon Society, the Sierra Club and other environmental groups.

"The basic things (people) have wanted to do, like recycling . . . the hows and whys are here," Frederiksen said. "When you go away from here, you're going to have to sit down and read for a week, with all the pamphlets and information."

Susan Taylor, a dance instructor at the University of Tampa, performed several stories to music. One told of a forest that was threatened by development. In another, she said, "Our stories are seeds with voices. Our stories can help us how to live in a world that is beautiful."

Several people who attended the festival said they already are recycling, but wanted to know what more they could do to help save the environment.

"Right now I'm throwing away tin cans. They're recyclable, but I don't know what to do with them," said Robbie Bennett of St. Petersburg.

Sunday was Jackie Critser's third year at the festival.

She said she has taught her 2{-year-old son, John, to appreciate trees, but still she found new information. She signed a "boater's and fisherman's pledge," promising not to throw trash overboard.

One display warned about the dangers of fish becoming entangled in plastic wrap around soft-drink cans.

Another urged people to call Morton Plant Hospital to protest the destruction of about 95 trees to make way for a nursing and rehabilitation center.

And, of course, visitors were asked to discard their trash in properly marked containers.