Earth Day raises awareness of environmental and climate issues

The annual Earth Day celebration returned to the University of Shippensburg campus on April 22 to spread green activities and ideas among students.

The Earth Day celebration which was co-hosted by the Green League club SU and the Center for Land Use and Sustainability (CLUS).

Clubs and organizations held festivities in Academic Quad. The event attracted many environmental organizations on and off campus who presented exhibits and games to teach and raise awareness about planting, soil and water testing, and climate issues.

The Earth Day celebration featured briefings with speakers including SU students, Ian Thompson, a senator from the Student Government Association (SGA), and Madeleine Davis, the president of the Green League of the League. Russell Hedberg, SU professor of geography and earth sciences and current co-chair of the environmental steering committee, also spoke to educate students about current climate issues.

Hedberg helped develop SU’s climate engagement plan. SU President Laurie Carter signed the plan during the Earth Day celebration last year. The plan calls for taking action by 2023 to embed carbon neutrality and create opportunities to reduce greenhouse gases and identify areas of current community vulnerability.

The Earth Day celebration welcomed many local elementary school students to participate in activities. The students created artwork to place in a flow exhibit with waste to help explain the harms of pollution and the visual and ecological damage that accompanies it.

Davis said the annual Earth Day celebration is important because it helps connect the community when it comes to climate and ecological issues. It also raises awareness of the efforts of clubs and organizations to help the environment and possibly inspire others, she said.

During Earth Day week, the Green League also participated in cleaning up streets and litter in the community and held discussions about new plans to help the environment.

Teresa H. Sadler