UCR’s Office of Sustainability will be hosting Earth Week, an annual weeklong celebration to raise awareness about the Earth, the environment and how to protect them. Earth Day itself is scheduled for Tuesday (April 22), but the weeklong event will be open to members of the campus community and the public from April 19-26.
Currently there are seven events planned throughout the week, with the exception of Thursday as there will be an investiture for UCR Chancellor Kim Wilcox. As Jenny Low, sustainability specialist for the UCR Office of Sustainability, stated, “There is not enough hours in Earth Day itself to do all these activities that they are spread over more than a week.”
Events such as a photo contest will also be held, which encourages students to take pictures of nature or people interacting with nature. All photos can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Winners in each of the two categories: best nature photo and human-nature interaction photo, will receive $50; other winners and runner-ups will receive the chance to display their work in the Orbach Science Library lobby from April 29 to May 9.
Other events such as bike tours of the campus will be held on Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the lawn near Rivera Library; up to 15 people who make reservations for the tour can attend. The sustainability tours will begin at 10 a.m. from Tuesday to Wednesday and Friday which involves walking on foot (starting from the Bell Tower) around campus.
In addition to this, there will also be a planting start-up on Earth Day beginning at 10 a.m. For this event, students will be given free seeds, soil and pots to begin planting outside of Rivera Library.
=The events are varied and meant to appeal to many different kinds of campus faculty and students. “The photo contest for the artsy, the tours for the curious and active and the planting start-up for current and future gardeners,” Low explained.
Other Earth Week events from previous years will continue this year, such as the Extreme Green Fest and the Dig N’ Dance. The Extreme Green Fest, which is being held by UCR Housing Services, will feature rock climbing and going-green booths, among other eco-friendly events. The Dig N’ Dance on Saturday, April 26 will feature live music, free food, rock climbing and a demonstration of the solar generator built, operated and maintained by UCR students.
The Office of Sustainability is responsible for many of Earth Week’s activities, which has been assisted by campus partners such as UCR’s Transportation and Parking Services, which will be providing shuttle services and racks for people to place their bikes on. Regarding the photo contest, Low stated that the “UCR Libraries has been a great help in lending us space in Orbach Library to display the winning photos.”
Student anticipation of this event appears to be positive. Karol Beas, a fourth-year English major stated that it is important to raise awareness about environmental issues. “I love Earth Week! I think environmental concerns are very important and these types of events are exactly what we need,” said Beas.
Second-year political science major, Kris Moisa, also gave her thoughts about the upcoming week: “Together, we can make a grand, positive impact on our environment by recycling more and becoming more sustainable.”