Earth Day brings sustainability awareness

There is only one planet Earth, which is why environmental activists are working to save it. One initiative to support this cause is Earth Day, a worldwide annual event that takes place on April 22 in order to promote environmental protection through actions such as cleanups and promoting sustainability. Efforts are also being made closer to home, with various events happening here at Stevenson University.

One Stevenson initiative that works year-round to support the goals of improving the environment is the Center for Environmental Stewardship (CES). “I founded the Center for Environmental Stewardship (CES) back in 2013 here at Stevenson, and really the goal of the CES – and my professional goal as well – is to increase sustainability and increase awareness of good environmental practices,” said Dr. Kimberly Tucker, director of the CES and associate professor of Biological Sciences. “We do that through education and service opportunities for the campus.”

A number of events were planned leading up to this year’s Earth Day, starting with an off-campus service event on April 10. Students met at the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy to plant trees.

The Center for Environmental Stewardship (CES) at Stevenson focuses on creating awareness on good environmental practices. (Photo from Stevenson.edu)

On April 16, a rock painting event will be hosted in the native plant garden on Owings Mills North in order to add some flair to the plants in the garden. An on-campus stream clean-up will take place on April 17. Both of these events are open to all students and faculty who would like to participate.

The final event that will cap off the Earth Day festivities will be a series of lightning talks on April 21, the day before Earth Day. This online event will feature “Short talks by different professors who do environmentally related work from Stevenson,” said Tucker. “We have two [speakers] from Fashion Merchandising, a professor from English, then a couple of us from Environmental Science, and there are some others, too.”

Another campus-wide event that happens at the end of each semester is Leave Steve Green, which promotes a sustainable move-out for students living on campus, taking place in the residence halls across Stevenson.

“[Throughout] the last couple weeks of the semester, students will see big boxes in the residence hall lobbies,” said Tucker. “We collect your non-perishable, unopened, still good food and we sort through that.” The food will be donated to the Leonard E. Hicks Community Center in Baltimore. Gently-used clothing will also be collected and donated to the Vietnam Veterans Association.

These events will support the CES’s mission to “cultivate an environmentally literate citizenry and support educational opportunities and programs in environmental science and sustainability.”

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