University celebrates Earth Day with daily events


Earth Day celebration events will take place throughout the month of April.

Mark Murphy, director of sustainability and operations, has been working with a planning committee to organize Earth Day-related events throughout April that will lead up to the Earth Day Fair April 22.

Murphy and The University’s Office of Sustainability work to raise awareness for Earth Day each year.

The planning committee has consists of staff, faculty and students, all of whom work to coordinate events, design fliers and banners and inform the public. Murphy said that the committee has decided to spread several events throughout the month of April. The slogan the committee is using for this year is “Celebrate Earth Day … Everyday.”

Murphy wants to draw attention to the specific day that is Earth Day: April 22.

“[Acknowledging a specific day] focuses people’s attention,” Murphy said.

The University uses a different theme every year to celebrate Earth Day. The theme for this year is water. Murphy said that he chose water because it is our most precious resource. He said that he wanted to raise awareness to the improvement could result from practicing sustainability.

Murphy said people are sensitive about their water as it is used for drilling natural gas. He said a few years ago, the Lackawanna River used to be very polluted, but is now cleaner. He said he hopes people will become more aware of the improvement when they participate in the “Environmental Awareness 5K Fun Run/Walk” along the Lackawanna Valley Heritage Trail. The run is scheduled for 11 a.m. April 26, although registration begins at 10 a.m.

“Foul water and fish is a sign that it’s clean,” Murphy said.

The Earth Day festivities started Sunday with Irene Klaver, Ph.D., professor of philosophy at the University of North Texas, presenting her talk, “Remembering Rivers: Meander and Model and Metaphor.”

The University will host its “Street Sweep” Sunday in which student volunteers will clean areas on and around campus and Nay Aug Park and plant flowers downtown. The event is organized by Student Government in cooperation with the Community Relations Office and starts at 2 p.m.

The following week will be preceded by an “Earth Day Celebration Library Art Show,” which will display sustainability-promoting artwork submitted by students and faculty.

The University will host its annual Earth Day Fair on the second floor of the DeNaples Center on Earth Day. The fair, which will include tables, businesses with organic food and green companies, sustainability officer from Lackawanna county Barbara Giovagnoli, Scranton segue, Toyota dealership talking about hybrid cars.

The Sustainability Spring Symposium will also take place on the evening of Earth Day at 7:30 p.m. in the McIhenny Ballroom of the DeNaples Center.

The University’s Programming Board will also host a “Pay it Forward” event in light of Earth Day, which will take place from 11 a.m. April 22 to 1 p.m. April 23 on the second floor of the DeNaples Center. Pay it Forward will feature informative table sits and will challenge students with sustainable activities and assignments.

Murphy said that he hopes this event will raise awareness on what students could do to practice and promote sustainability.

“We are a Catholic and Jesuit university, and we have a mission for justice and in that mission would land taking care of our planet,” Murphy said “It also goes deeper than that because we’re in the position in the U.S. where we have all sorts of [resources].”

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