Mud Day – Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Biggest Event of the Year – Mud Day!

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As you work the soil in your garden and witness the popping buds all around you, you are probably wondering: when is Mud Day this year? This annual, muddy, place-based extravaganza happens each May at Muddy Brook Regional Elementary School in Great Barrington, rain or shine.

You may also be wondering: what is Mud Day? Mud Day is a celebration of the Berkshire landscape, our literal common ground. It is about bringing the classroom outdoors in playful, festive, and creative ways. Brought to you by the Muddy Brook PTA, Mud Day is open to the public. “Mud Day connects us to each other, reminds us of the ingredients for a sustainable future, and gives us a clearer sense of place,” said Mary Berle, Director of Learning and Teaching for the Berkshire Hills Regional School District.

 

MudDay Collin 3In 2013 Mud Day drew well over 700 participants and the event continues to grow and change. Thad Dingman, Principal, said “Now in year five, Mud Day has become part of the fabric of Muddy Brook.” One eager fourth grader put it this way: “I look forward to Mud Day like it’s my birthday!”

Muddy Brook students, teachers, and “Mudders” have begone preparing. Last year, the first graders raffled off a quilt they made with recycled fabric. Other students made bags from old t-shirts, melted crayon scraps into new crayons, painted re-usable jars, planted seeds, pulled garlic mustard, designed weather instruments, created “metric Olympics” events, and readied for the unicycle expo.

A variety of local conservation and education organizations will be participating. In the past, they have include: Housatonic Valley Association, MassAudubon, Project Bee, Real Goods Solar, YMCA Camp Hi-Rock, Project Native, Alpine Solar Heat & Hot Water, Berkshire Grown, Northeast Organic Farming Association, Berkshire South Regional Community Center, BRIDGE, Center for EcoTechnology, Flying Cloud Institute, Second Hand Farm, Great Barrington Agricultural Commission, Berkshire Rattlers, Flying Deer Nature Center, Fresh Air Fund, and Fair Ground Community Redevelopment Project. Food from local vendors and donors (The Scoop, The Marketplace Kitchen, Bell & Anchor, Guido’s Fresh Marketplace, Berkshire Co-op Market, The Doughnut Shoppe, and others) will be for sale. There will be live music throughout the day — ukuleles, guitars, mandolins, and more.

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Of course, Mud Day will involve MUD: mud between tug of war teams, muddy pools for digging up treasures, mud for making pies. Cleaner activities may include face painting, jump-rope spinning, tie-dying (bring your own cotton item or purchase a white t-shirt), relay races, and bubble wand-making.

All activities are available to children for a one-time fee of $5 ($15 family maximum). Adults are free. Bring a change of clothes for the kids, and a towel. (Outdoor showers supplied.)

“Some of our best learning is messy,” said Peter Dillon, Superintendent. He added, “Mud Day has become a great tradition that captures the best of student, parent, community, and educator collaboration.”

If you would like to be a part of this amazing community day or participate in planning the Mud Day next event, please contact Susan Higa at  sqhiga@yahoo.com.