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"Every Day is Earth Day" at UMFK

April 13, 2009

NR09040

“Every Day is Earth Day," is the theme University of Maine at Fort Kent campus community has adopted for the series of events planned to celebrate “Earth Day” on Wednesday, April 22.             

Interactive displays, informational presentations, poetry reading, special theme meal, and a film-showing will all be part of the campus-wide activities coordinated by the environmental studies program and the UMFK ecology committee throughout the campus between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Cyr Hall.            

UMFK officially “kicked-off” its Earth Day celebrations by having guest speaker Mark Dixon, co-founder of YERT, at the environmental speakers’ series which was held last week.            

Before the events get underway, approximately 38 first-graders will attend sessions geared at teaching topics in ecology, environmental science, forestry, and biology on Friday, April 17 at the UMFK Sports Center from 12 noon to 2:15 p.m. The kids will hear a presentation by “Smokey the Bear,” who will speak about forest fire prevention and the reading of Dr. Seuss’s Lorax by UMFK Professors Joseph and Geraldine Becker. They also will be informed through different activities such as: how worms can be used to recycle organic waste; learn about recycling; the impact each organism has on the entire ecosystem; how to create a bird feeder; identify and the planting of trees; helping to prevent pollution; and water conservation.             

On Earth Day, there will be displays of UMFK’s solar panel/battery project; sustainability in the dining halls; and premiere of ‘compost inventory’ results.   See the amazing posters on campus food wasted composting, which were designed by the students of the ‘Environmental 200’ class.  A display on “Home Composting” will offer individuals the opportunity to learn about everything you need to know to start composting at home.              

Take a chance to “Guess the Garbage Game.”  You also can view an autopsy of live trash. Do not miss out on the “free raffle” on the opportunity on winning one of the many environmental friendly prizes.                            

Stop by to pick up a card that grows into a tree. (on a first-come, first-serve basis) The tree cards have been donated by Irving Woodlands, LLC.             

“To Be, or Not to Be: That is the Question", is the title of an open reading of poetry, nature writing, and Shakespearean works to celebrate both Earth Day and Shakespeare's birthday. The session will be held between 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the Grindle conference room. The event is hosted by Professor Geraldine Becker and The Student Association for Greater English Studies (SAGES).             

Beginning at 11 a.m., a film and discussion of “What Would It Look Like?” will be held in the Bengal’s Lair. What if the world embodied our highest potential? What would it look like? As the structures of modern society crumble, is it enough to respond with the same tired solutions? Or are we being called to question a set of unexamined assumptions that form the very basis of our civilization?  This 25-minute retrospective asks us to reflect on the state of the world and ourselves, and to listen more closely to what is being asked of us at this time of unprecedented global transformation.           

When you are in Cyr Hall, take the time to plant a seed and also learn about organic gardening.            

An environmental health display booth, prepared by the nursing students, will focus on the collection of waste pharmaceuticals and the environmental toxins and children. The education students will have a booth with art activities for all ages.             

An Earth Day ‘sustainable’ lunch will feature locally-grown, organic, and fair trade foods will be served in Nowland Hall, the campus dining facility, beginning at 11 a.m. and running through 1 p.m. The meal is open to the public at a cost of $5 plus tax. First 100 people get a free reusable lunch bag. In addition, a presentation will be on sustainable foods.   

The festivities will conclude with an “Earth Bingo” for only UMFK students at 7 p.m. in the Bengal’s Lair.              

The Blake Library will also host a week-long display featuring classic environmental books.   

UMFK's Bookstore also is getting into the Earth Day celebration by displaying items sold in the store with recycled materials, as well as offering a 20 percent discount all week on earth-toned items.             

A complete listing of UMFK Earth Day events can be found at www.umfk.maine.edu.            

For more information on the celebration, contact Kim Borges-Therien at (207) 834-7612.                                                              #####