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The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, a pioneer in sustainability in higher education, will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day with a week of activities April 20-23.

The University’s 2010 Earth Week — “Earth at 40: Taking Action for People, Place and Planet” — will include a variety of activities open to the public, including tree plantings, presentations on conservation, documentaries, a Fox River cleanup and Earth-friendly art.

“TRASH-formation is an interactive and educational art installation that will turn the University’s waste into a sustainably built, aesthetically stunning sculpture,” said Stephanie Spehar, UW Oshkosh anthropology professor and Earth Week committee member.

TRASH-formation is collaboration between Spehar and RuckusRoots, a Los Angeles based eco-activism organization. The project is funded and supported by more than 10 campus organizations.

The Earth Week tree plantings project, April 21-23, will add up to 100 trees and shrubs to the campus grounds, aiming to fulfill the last requirements for UW Oshkosh to apply to earn one of the first Tree Campus USA designations from the Arbor Day Foundation.

“The project will benefit the community by making a significant contribution to rebuilding the urban forest of Oshkosh, beautifying recent constructions sites on campus and improving areas for urban wildlife along the Fox River,” UW Oshkosh Director of Sustainability Michael Lizotte said.

Events are free unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, April 20

  • “Environmental Action in Wisconsin: Pressing Issues and Ways to Make Progress” — Anne Sayers of the League of Conservation Voters will speak; 6 to 7 p.m., Room 227C of Reeve Memorial Union, 748 Algoma Blvd.

Wednesday, April 21

  • TRASH-formation — Los Angeles-based organization RuckusRoots and artist Robin Guttman, assisted by UW Oshkosh students, will create a piece of sustainable sculpture out of the University’s waste; all day Wednesday and Thursday, between Reeve Union and Breese Hall.
  • Tree plantings — Three days of tree plantings across campus, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. meet at the parking ramp at the corner of High Avenue and Osceola Street.
  • “The Sixth Section” and “Papa Papá” — Following a screening of the documentaries, award-winning filmmaker Alex Rivera will host a Q&A and discussion; 4:30 p.m., Reeve Union Theatre.
  • “Bottlemania: Big Business, Local Springs and the Battle over America’s Drinking Water” — Elizabeth Royte will speak; free for UWO students, $3 at the door for faculty, staff and the public; 7 to 8:30 p.m., Reeve Union Ballroom.

Thursday, April 22 (Earth Day)

  • Organic Grilled Cheese Lunch — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Blackhawk Commons, 725 Algoma Blvd.
  • Waste sort — Students taking Environmental Studies 390 will sort and analyze the University’s trash to see what we could have reused, recycled or composted; noon to 5 p.m., between Reeve Union and Breese Hall.
  • Tree plantings — 1 to 4 p.m., Irving Avenue between Fletcher Hall and the Center for Equity and Diversity.
  • Chancellor’s Earth Day Address and Tree Campus Announcement — 2 p.m., between Reeve Memorial Union and Breese Hall.
  • “Trash Talk” — an open discussion with TRASH-formation artist Robin Guttman, RuckusRoots, and UW Oshkosh students and professors; 3 to 4 p.m., between Reeve Union and Breese Hall.
  • “Sleep Dealer” — A feature film will be shown at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.; Q&A with filmmaker Alex Rivera at 8:30 p.m.; Reeve Union Theatre.

Friday, April 23

  • Tree plantings — 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Shapiro Park (between Pearl Avenue and the Fox River).
  • “Clean Water Act, Storm Water and UW Oshkosh” — UWO’s Facilities Director Steve Arndt will speak from1 to 2 p.m., Room 214 of Reeve Union.
  • Fox River Cleanup — 2 to 4 p.m., departing from Reeve Union.

For more about UW Oshkosh’s sustainability initiatives and accomplishments, visit www.uwosh.edu/sustainability.

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