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Local bands, local beer on tap for environmental benefit concert

Local bands, local beer on tap for environmental benefit concert
The Eco-Warriors MD, a local nonprofit, pose during a trash cleanup at Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area. A benefit event for the group will be held Sunday, May 19, 2019 at Ruhlman Brewing Co. in Hampsted. (Courtesy Photo)

If local brews and local tunes sound like an appealing weekend afternoon, both will be on tap for the very first Eco Warriors Benefit this Sunday.

The benefit will be held Sunday, May 19 and go most of the day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The venue is the Ruhlman Brewing Co., 2300 Harvey Gummel Road, Hampstead. The cost of entry is $5 per person, and the event is rain or shine.

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The day’s events will benefit Eco-Warriors MD, a local nonprofit that hosts weekly Sunday trash cleanups and has an online group for members to share sustainability information.

Founder Steven Barnett said he has been a hiker for at least 10 years and always felt compelled to pick up trash when he found it along hiking trails. During the government shutdown in the beginning of 2019, her heard about people illegally entering California's Joshua Tree National Park and cutting down the trees.

“All of those things kind of created a call to action, where there [weren’t] really government agencies out there doing it at the time. I was thinking, it's going to be the responsibility of the people,” he said.

After their weekly cleanups, the group then sorts the collection into what can be recycled and what needs to got to the landfill. Eco-Warriors MD successfully gained nonprofit status in March.

On Sunday, Live music starts at 1 p.m. Five local bands will be there: Joint Operation, The Harbor Boys, Shamboogi, Foggy May and Centrifused. Most fall within the reggae rock and jam band genres.

“It's music that everybody's going to enjoy. And that's that's always a plus,” said Alex Courpas, a musician and member of the Eco Warriors.

All ages are welcome at the show and so are dogs, as long as they are on a leash.

When guests aren’t boogieing to the bands, there are other activities including disc golf, cornhole, horseshoes and kids activities like face painting and a moon bounce. A 50/50 raffle and a silent auction round out the activities.

In addition to the local beer from Ruhlman, there will be food and non-alcoholic drinks also available for purchase.

The funds from the benefit will help the group purchase trash pickers and grabbers, backpacks and other cleanup supplies that will make the weekly outing easier. Barnett said they are also looking to build a website. Currently the group’s online presence is on Facebook.

For the weekly cleanups, they might also start offering incentives for the collectors who bring in the most trash. They also might look to take a group trip to do a cleanup farther away, Courpas said. Funds from the concert could help them do that.

Down the line, they might try to purchase kayaks for river cleanup or even a truck to help haul the collected trash.

“We're trying to get people to leave with a sense of wanting to help mama Earth,” Courpas said.

Barnett said that the concert will not only be good to raise money for the nonprofit, but also raise awareness of the events and build a community.

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Some of the most gratifying moments after starting Eco-Warriors MD have been seeing kids become more aware of the environment after helping with a Sunday cleanup.

“They are seeing trash more often. And they’re picking it up when they're out with their parents,” he said. “It's really, it's awesome. It's very inspiring.” .

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