March 30, 2017

SIU to observe Earth Month in April

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale has been “green” long before it was fashionable and the campus will celebrate Earth Month 2017 in April with a variety of special activities, awards and more.

You can see for yourself some of the many sustainable initiatives, projects and green facilities on campus during the free First Friday Green Tour on April 7. The tour departs from the Innovation and Sustainability Hub in the Student Center at noon.

Campus and community volunteers will join efforts to clear and improve trails at Touch of Nature Environmental Center from 1 to 4 p.m. each Saturday in April during Trail Stewardship days. The experiential learning facility is located about eight miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road.

Students, faculty and staff will celebrate Arbor Day on April 21 by planting trees at selected locations around campus. For two consecutive years, SIU has earned the Tree Campus USA designation from the Arbor Day Foundation in recognition of meeting sustainable campus forestry standards. SIU’s efforts include having a campus tree plan and sponsoring tree plantings. Work shifts are from 9 to 11 a.m. and from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Volunteers will meet in the campus lake boat dock area and should wear closed-toe shoes and appropriate attire for planting, which will take place rain or shine. Contact Katie McGrath at to sign up or for more information.

The LOcal Gardening Initiative of Carbondale (LOGIC) Earth Day Fun Day also takes place that day at 2 p.m. at the student garden, located at 3373 W. Pleasant Hill Road in Carbondale. Through student volunteers, the registered student organization maintains the ecologically grown gardens and the produce grown there is available for purchase at weekly stands on campus and is used in campus dining halls. The fun day offers the chance to check out the gardens, enjoy refreshments, and even take plants home.

The Student Center Craft Shop is sponsoring a number of special workshops in honor of Earth Month. Participants can create home hydroponics growing systems, craft a solar oven or a tomato tub, make paper, create a holographic image projector or produce their own viewing glasses for the upcoming solar eclipse. All workshops are open to the campus and the community at large. Find the complete schedule, details and pricing by visiting and clicking on “workshops.”

SIU is also teaming with other organizations and the city of Carbondale to assist with spring cleanup and recycling day at 9 a.m. at Turley Park and the Carbondale Earth Day Parade at the Life Community Center at 10:30 a.m., both on April 22.  

The highlight of SIU’s Earth Month 2017 is the Sustainability Celebration at noon on April 27 in Morris Library’s John C. Guyon Auditorium and First Floor Rotunda. This event will include the announcement of the most recent Green Fund grant recipients and the presentation of the student Environmental Ambassadors awards as well as an announcement about a new sustainability initiative, according to Geory Kurtzhals, sustainability coordinator. Interactive sustainability activities and light refreshments are also planned.

Find the complete Earth Month schedule and information about SIU campus sustainability at