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UMFK students, faculty and staff to celebrate Earth Day April 22 with many events

April 15, 2005

NR05061

"Living Green- On Campus and Beyond", is the theme University of Maine at Fort Kent students, faculty and staff have adopted for series of events planned to celebrate Earth Day on Friday, April 22.

Interactive displays, informational presentations, a special theme meal, film showing and art exhibit will all be part of the campus-wide activities coordinated by the environmental studies program.

"Earth Day 2005 at UMFK represents a true campus-wide effort that illustrates the idea that the environment is everyone's concern. Planning for the event-filled day was done by students, faculty and staff from numerous campus offices and many academic disciplines, including English, the arts, and the sciences," said Kim Borges-Therien, assistant professor of environmental studies. "The collaborative effort will provide for great day allowing all of us to celebrate our natural environment while learning about ways that we can reduce our environmental impact."

Events get underway in the Bengal's Lair between 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. with an Earth Day fair featuring booths, displays and activities.

Visitors to the fair will learn about recycling and its importance both on the UMFK campus and in the surrounding community through a multimedia exhibit.

Also on display will be various campus "greening" projects completed by environmental studies students, an interactive display highlighting the campus's worm composting project, an opportunity to cast a vote for the best decorated campus recycling bin, and an Earth Day quiz contest, that will end with a drawing among the top contestants for a special Earth Day iPod.

Another booth, "Benny the Bengal: An Endangered Species", will offer UMFK campus community members the opportunity to learn about the challenges facing the animal that serves as the University's mascot, as well as endangered species in Maine.

The first in a series of Earth Day presentations will be held at 11:00 a.m. in room 113 of Cyr Hall.

Following a welcome by UMFK President Richard Cost, Matt Holden, an energy consultant for the University of Maine System, will discuss UMFK's energy consumption, current and future energy conservation projects and the status of the Mars Hill wind farm project in a presentation entitled: "UMFK Energy Use: Now and the Future".

An Earth Day meal, featuring locally-grown, organic, and fair trade foods will be served in Nowland Hall, the campus dining facility, beginning at 11:00 a.m. and running through 1:30 p.m. The meal is open to the public at a cost of $5 per person.

At 12:00 noon an exhibit of hybrid-electric and fuel efficient vehicles will be parked in the paved area adjacent to Nadeau Hall. A number of new automobiles that are gas saving and environmentally friendly will be on display.

"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 2:00 and 3:00 p.m. in the Bengal's Lair.

Immediately following the open reading at 3:00 p.m. in the Bengal's Lair, will be a two-hour live acoustical music concert featuring UMFK students playing a selection of Earth-inspired music.

The day's festivities will conclude with a showing of the film Soylent Green, a thriller starring Charleton Heston, which paints a startling picture of a future world with so many people that real food has become a luxury, and as a result, most people live on a synthetic food called Soylent Green. The film will be shown beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Fox Auditorium.

In addition to the scheduled events, the Blake Library will also host an exhibit of artwork by UMFK art students, plus a slide show of photographs of nature and of environmental studies students exploring nature. The exhibit entitled "Art and Environmental Studies Students Celebrate Earth Day", will be on display through May 9 in the library art gallery and can be viewed during regular Blake Library hours.

The Blake Library will also host a book display featuring materials on sustainable living.

UMFK's Bookstore is also getting into the Earth Day celebration by displaying items sold in the store with recycled materials, as well as offering a 25 percent discount on all 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 Borges-Therien at (207) 834-7612.