For the past five years, there has been an Earth Day celebration in Northfield.

This year, it’s not just a celebration, it’s a call to action for the community and it’s become a two-day event, April 25 and April 26.

Mary Jo Cristofaro, of Transition Northfield, has played a large role in the planning of this year’s event. “This year is going to be exciting. We’re really making it a community event.”

Cristofaro, who works to bring youth into Transition Northfield’s Transition Youth program, noted that this year’s youth have really taken ownership of the event. The group has been meeting every Wednesday since the beginning of January to plan the event.

“The youth have been involved in writing grants, figuring out what classes are going to be offered, working on publicity and whats going to be on the flyer, timelines and all of those details,” Cristofaro said.

“It’s been helpful for them to lead the meeting, they really gel well together, and being youth-led, there’s a lot of energy and fresh ideas in the group.”

Several of those fresh ideas include a Kombucha making class (a fermented tea drink), a class to make wool dryer balls (to use an alternative to dryer sheets), and a native shrub planting at Carleton College’s Arboretum.

Annika Peterson, a junior at Northfield High School, has been instrumental in the planning and will help to lead a sewing class at First United Church of Christ as part of the events.

“I care a lot about environment; it’s important for the community to come together to learn about it,” she said.

Annika’s class will teach participants how to sew a reusable sack lunch bag.

Sarah Goldman is a Carleton College freshman in her first year working with Transition Northfield and the Earth Day celebration in Northfield.

“Its important that people who live in Northfield get involved, we’re all fighting the same problem. It’s important that we work together,” she said, “that’s my motivation to continue to work.”

The celebration will kick off on Friday night with a Community Solar 101 presentation and coffee evening at First UCC. Events will come to close on Saturday with a free community supper and entertainment. The menu will include a squash soup and other fresh items from local farmers.

“I’m looking forward to everything,” said Goldman, “the final meal together is going to be really fun, celebrating and listening to good music.”

Molly Larsen covers the education beat for the Northfield News. Reach her at 645-1115. Follow her on Twitter @ReporterMolly.