Notwithstanding the heavy rainy clouds outside creating a minor local climate 'crisis,' the largest crowd yet, of about 300 attendees, braved the weather to gather at one of the largest environmental activist gatherings in the area, the Fifth Annual Acting Locally for a More Sustainable World Conference.

The Madonna Hall of the Immaculate Conception RC Church hosted the event last year and again this year, on Saturday, Jan. 25, after outgrowing the original venue in the Montclair Public Library.

They browsed the booths of dozens of community groups and vendors, networked, listened to the informational speakers and panelists during the six-hour event, organized by the non-profit Northeast Earth Coalition, Inc., sponsored by Partners for Health Foundation and co-sponsored by Common Interests.