WESTBOROUGH – A busy week of programming will mark the fourth year of Westborough Connects’ Westborough Unplugs initiative next week, encouraging community members to take time away from their screens to more closely interact with their community.
Unplugs runs from May 1 through May 7, featuring everything from a May Day nature walk to a jam-packed day of festivities at Nourse Farm.
“We recognize that screens are critical to our lives in lots of ways, but, as a society, as a community, as every adult and kid, we spend a bit too much time on them,” Westborough Connects’ Executive Director Kelley Petralia told the Community Advocate earlier this month.
“This is about taking that step back and trying to be more balanced and more mindful in thinking about our screen use,” she continued.
Program returns in fourth year
Westborough Unplugs is an initiative inspired by National Screen Free Week.
It launched in Westborough in 2019 with organizers envisioning a new annual tradition.
COVID-19 temporarily disrupted those plans in 2020, prompting a substantially scaled back program that year. But Unplugs came soaring back in 2021
“We really think this is an important thing,” Petralia said.
“It’s really not telling people ‘You’re awful for using the screen,’” she added. “It’s really about telling people ‘Hey, let’s think about this.’”
‘Disconnect to Reconnect’
This year’s theme is “Disconnect to Reconnect.”
Along those lines, organizers have coordinated seven different events over the course of the Unplugs week.
These include events like “Booking it to Bay State,” on May 4, which asks community members to gather at Bay State Commons to participate in an independent reading day. This runs from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Bay State Commons in town.
On May 5, “The Great Westborough Bake Off” will teach community members how to make their own pies. That event is taking place at the Westborough Public Library from 3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The week will then culminate on May 7 with an event titled “Unplug and Explore Nourse Farm.” Programming on that day runs from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., including such attractions as a geology hike highlighting the soils and features of the farm as well as ongoing draft horse demonstrations from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
“It’s just a really great way to end the week,” Petralia said of Nourse Farm plans.
A full list of activities throughout the week of Westborough Unplugs is available online at https://tinyurl.com/45nbuw5c.