Bear Creek’s Greening program this year comes full circle, as we celebrate our second year of makin’ soil and recycling with the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park. Last year, we began an expanded recycling program that includes glass, mixed plastic, aluminum, and cardboard/paperboard. We also began a composting program that includes all of the Festival’s food waste and compostable foodservice materials. Working with the Suwannee County High School’s Environmental Club under the leadership of sponsor Amy Hendry, last year at Bear Creek we began an educational partnership that has blossomed through three additional festivals held at the Park. This partnership has become a cornerstone of our sustainability program!

Thank you for helping create our collective successes and please continue to support the program though properly sorting your refuse!

There’s a lot more we can do together to make Bear Creek and the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park ecological. Conserve packaging and water! We will be selling Bear Creek commemorative and re-usable plastic pint glasses that you can refill when you buy beer. And as always, you are allowed to bring in empty water bottles to hydrate. If you must use bottled water, finish all of it and place the cap back on the bottle!

What else can we do?

  • Carpool! Use the Bear Creek Facebook page to organize ride shares. Meet new friends and save the planet at the same time!
  • Take and remember the Clean Concert Pledge. Don’t leave anything—especially cigarette butts—on the ground! Look for the Green Team handing out clear bags for recycling within the festival, and make sure to help keep the ground looking clean and beautiful.
  • Volunteer! Our new in-house program, the Suwannee Ticket Exchange Program (STEP), is the next evolution of the park’s incredible relationship with the festival and local community.
  • Visit the Green Team tent to learn more about composting, recycling, materials, and anything else we could strike up conversation about!

We’ll take some time to talk to the artists about their outlook on their music, and how it related to ecological awareness and sustainability! Be sure to check out the Green Artists & Jam session this year (2010 session TBD). Last year we rocked out the green jam with Matt Butler, Al Schnier, Albert Suttle, John Hruby, and Jans Ingber! Thanks so much to these amazing, conscious artists.

Thank you for helping our volunteers and staff implement the next evolution of the greening program! Our program is run by Anne & Derek Bedarf, who run the Adaptive Collective and live in Charlottesville, Virginia. To get in touch, email theadaptivecollective [at]

Carbon Offsetting

This year, the new carbon offsetting program at Bear Creek will be shaped by the fans! Your donation will go towards locally-based carbon offsetting: Gainesville-based Earth Givers focuses on upgrading buildings for energy efficiency, tree planting through a local conservation trust, and landfill methane collection. Donations can be made when purchasing Bear Creek tickets at the check-out stage of the transaction. Suggested donation:

  • Travel 50 miles or less, or because you eat low on the food chain: $5
  • Travel between 50 and 150 miles, or because you travel a lot but carpool regularly: $10
  • Travel between 200 and 300 miles, or because you don’t yet compost: $15
  • Travel over 300 miles, or just because you can: $20