Lawrence Celebrates Earth Day – KH -mts -cd

Grace Christiansen, Deborah Nixon

Earth Day — nationally celebrated April 22 — is a day to step back from the normal workday and honor the environment. Established in 1970 by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson in response to environmental degradation, Earth Day continues to be a national tradition for people of all ages.
Saturday, Apr. 26, Lawrence students will have a chance to be a part of this tradition in a belated Earth Day celebration. Greenfire, a student environmental organization, is putting together a variety of activities throughout the day, starting at 8 a.m. with an open breakfast of pancakes at Greenfire House.
Greenfire member and house resident Sonia Emmons explained, “We want to encourage people to come to Greenfire whenever.”
The day’s events will continue an hour later with work in the quarter-acre Lawrence garden. Participants will weed, plant and tend the beds while being entertained by music. During the growing season, the produce grown in this garden is sold to Downer. Emmons added, “Gardening is better with a lot of people … and is the best way to get a tan.” Volunteers for the river cleanup will also meet in the garden at this time.
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., there will be a variety of activities on Main Hall green. Catered lunch will be provided for students who signed up at the week-long table at Downer.
A tent full of environmentally related booths will educate the populace about environmental concerns.
One of these booths displays projects from an introduction to environmental studies course taught last term. These projects investigated the campus community, showing the impact of students on certain environmental issues.
Activities for children will be available, including face painting and a drum workshop.
Visitors will also enjoy numerous arts and crafts, a climbing wall and live music from student groups, including the band Patchouli 2:30-4:00 p.m. Live reggae music will continue in the tent 9-11 p.m. with a student group.
Through these activities, people will have a chance to socialize while learning to value the environment.
Greenfire member Irina Nedelcu-Erickson stated, “I hope the event promotes happiness and appreciation of the Earth. It’s the one day we can dedicate ourselves to changing our lifestyle and think of ourselves as part of a group or population that affects the Earth, rather than an individual. Hopefully this day can encourage other days to be just like it! Through the celebrations, garden tending and river cleanup, people can celebrate what the Earth has given us and we can learn to treat it better.”
In addition to Saturday’s upcoming celebrations, a variety of activities have been taking place on campus throughout this week: the Geology Club has been showing the TV show “Planet Earth” and the People for Animal Welfare organization has been showing the movie “Earthlings” in Wriston Auditorium.
Lawrence also reached out to the Appleton community during “Turn Off the TV Week.” It is an annual event that coincides with Earth Week and encourages schoolchildren and their families to enjoy life without TV screens.
In return for not watching TV, communities plan enjoyable programs for the students. In the Appleton area, over seventy students and parents from the local elementary schools participated.
Lawrence hosted a fun afternoon for these students on Earth Day, educating the students about Earth Day and helping them create outdoor activities about the Earth.
The events are a reminder to people to pay attention to environmental issues and to work towards having a sustainable lifestyle. As the activities prove, being “green” takes initiative, but can also be a lot of fun.