Tree-planting, recycling, an activist speaker and river cleanups are part of a full slate of Earth Week activities at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.
Earth Week runs Monday, April 17, through Saturday, April 22.
The goal of Earth Week at UW Oshkosh is to educate and encourage participation by students and faculty in the week’s events which highlight environmental and social justice issues in hopes individuals will take action, be more mindful and make changes in their daily life and communities.
Organizers say Earth Week celebrations are important for the campus culture and also because every individual is a global citizen.
“The principles of protecting our environment that became extremely important in the 1970s are still as important, if not more important, today,” said Brad Spanbauer, sustainability coordinator at UW Oshkosh. “These values align with the principles of sustainability that UW Oshkosh upholds in its daily operations and curriculum and has incorporated as a foundational element of the campus’ strategic plan.”
Celebrating planet earth
The week kicks off on Monday when the University grounds crew will plant 20 trees to improve the campus landscape. On Tuesday, the third annual e-waste event will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Blackhawk Commons parking lot.
“Participants will be able to drive right up to the drop-off location and will be assisted in unloading their recyclable electronic items,” sustainability intern Hunter Hart said. “This event is very beneficial as it creates an example of how our community can properly practice recycling electronic material.”
The Earth Week Banquet will be the centerpiece of the week on Thursday, April 20. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for the organic baked potato and salad bar dinner at 6 p.m. in Reeve Ballroom B-C. The speaker, Taylor Brorby, will begin at 7 p.m.
Brorby is a poet, essayist and activist who will be giving the evening talk on Coming Alive: Action and Civil Disobedience – Wake the Frack Up. He responds to the boom in hydraulic fracturing in his beloved home state of North Dakota by writing poems and essays, engaging in action and civil disobedience, organizers said. A book signing will follow his talk.
Tickets are available by contacting Titan Central in Reeve Memorial Union at (920) 424-1234. Suggested donations (which are paid at the door) are $5 for students, and $20 for faculty, staff and community members.
Nearing the end of the week, there will still be excitement building for the three events happening on Saturday, April 22, the day celebrated worldwide as Earth Day: Shoreline Restoration; Hands on Oshkosh; and March for Science.
Fox-Wolf Watershed cleanup
A large shoreline clean-up project is taking place from 9 until 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 22, around the Fox Cities. (Register here.) Anyone who wishes to join the UWO Wildlife Conservation Club team may register by using the password bearsarefun2playwith. Otherwise persons can choose their own team and clean up another location.
“This establishes a sense of community, it increases understanding for environmental stewardship, protects wildlife from consuming trash, improves attractiveness to our community and the event keeps the tradition of Earth Day alive which started back in the 1970s,” UWO Wildlife Conservation member Matt Gondek said.
Hands on Oshkosh
More than 250 students, faculty and staff will volunteer and make a difference in the community, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 22 at 15-20 sites around Oshkosh. (Register here.)
Past projects have included painting, organizing and park cleanup. Hands on Oshkosh takes place semi-annually, as volunteerism “brings campus to life.”
Hands on Oshkosh happens once every semester at UW Oshkosh and it provides the Oshkosh community with services while giving students a chance to become more familiar with the community outside campus and the different opportunities it provides.
A student who took part in April 2016, said volunteering within the Oshkosh community helps students feel like they belong in Oshkosh and are welcome.
Oshkosh March for Science
March for Science occurs on Earth Day in more than 300 cities across the world.
“I am looking forward to the March for Science during Earth Week because it is an event to raise awareness and it is the first of its kind,” environmental studies student Caitlyn Uhlenbrauck said.
The March for Science was designed to raise awareness about how science affects everyone’s daily life through medicine, defense technology, transportation, energy and many other ways.
“We unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group that upholds the common good by supporting science and encouraging local leaders and policymakers to enact evidence-based policies in the public interest,” said Misty McPhee, co-organizer and associate professor of environmental studies.
The Oshkosh marchers are beginning at 11 a.m. at Roe Park on Washington Avenue and will march along Main Street and then back to Roe, near the Oshkosh Public Library.
“Anyone is encouraged to come and march. It’s for concerned citizens, not just scientists,” McPhee said.