Earth week and Arbor day is set to bring education, events and fun to campus

Students will have the chance to get their hands dirty this week, as Earth Week and Arbor Day events will begin to take place on Monday.

Jane Goode, the planning coordinator for the university, has helped organize the event and is hopeful that students will get involved.

“We have about 18-20 organizations this year, half from on campus and half from off campus, and we will have tables on Monday out on the central plaza between the student union, the university center and in the grassy area,” Goode said. “People will have tables and will talk about all different areas of sustainability.”

According to Goode, the earth week tabling event has been around for many years, noting that this could even be the 10th year, although she’s not one hundred percent sure. She considers the event a celebration and hopes for good weather so that the festivities may take place outside.

One of the festivities that students are invited to participate in, is known as seed bombing.

“It’s a project that is a combination of horticulture and the sculpture department. Ben Huber, who is one of the faculty members in the sculpture department, mixes peat moss, clay and wildflower seeds and makes this mixture so that students can come and sculpt hand-sized seed bombs,” Goode said. “The sculptures then get put on sticks and arranged in an artistic way in the green grass by loch norse and after they dry, we take those bombs to the hillside by the power plant and throw them. And I’ve always wanted students to help with that because frankly, it’s fun.”

Because of the seed bombs, the hillside is filled with wildflowers throughout the summer.

To participate in the activity, students will have the opportunity to sign up at the NKU green table on Monday.

On Tuesday, students and staff will have the chance to participate in a workshop called Composting 101.

Rosie Santos, interim director for the center of environmental education, believes that the workshop will be both fun and informational.

“This is the first time we’ve ever offered a workshop for students, faculty and staff during earth week,” Santos said. “This one is going to be a little more instructional. The focus is on how to use worms in composting bins. We also talk about why we do it and the environmental piece to it. It’s a lot of fun and it’s really interesting.”

Students who attend the workshop will be entered in a raffle to win their own composting bin. The event will take place on April 21, from 1-2:30 in MEP 154.

To wrap up earth week, there will be a democracy square live event about climate change, facilitated by associate professor of mathematics, Dr. Andrew Long.

“We set it up to go along with earth week,” Katie Crawford, project 505 coordinator for the Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement said. “We usually like to bring it together with other areas of the campus. So, the event will be discussion based but it will all be about how we affect climate change personally.”

With numerous events taking place, Goode hopes that this will encourage students to become involved with the sustainability of NKU and the surrounding area.

“We want people to join us, it isn’t always just teach, teach, teach, it’s a lot about sharing,” Goode said. “Sustainability isn’t just turning off lights and saving water, its a lot of stuff. There’s fair trade and there’s justice issues involved too, so we will be talking about all of that.”

Based on her own experience as an NKU alumni and previous member of the environmentally concerned organization of students (ECOS), Santos encourages students to become involved with earth week.
“Being involved in this particular event as a student changed the course of my professional life because all of a sudden I was responsible for coordinating the finances, events, promoting and marketing for the event whenever ECOS was in charge of it,” Santos said. “It was a big learning experience for me and I had a good mentorship from the students in front of me. It’s a cool project for the whole campus.”