April 02, 2018

Earth Month celebrations highlight SIU’s green side

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Long a leader in campus “green” initiatives, Southern Illinois University Carbondale recognizes Earth Day in April through an entire month of sustainability-focused activities and programs.

Earth Month plans at SIU include workshops, tree planting, plogging, composting, a farm to fork dinner, activities highlighting projects funded by the student-initiated Green Fee, a big sustainability celebration and much more.

Explore the green campus and region at Green Dawgs’ Day

Green Dawgs’ Day is one of the month’s premiere events. Set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 8 at Touch of Nature Environmental Center, located about eight miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road, it’s a chance to immerse yourself in nature.

Explore recreational and environmental opportunities on campus and in the area and learn about SIU departments and units as well as community organizations that focus on sustainability and the environment. Network with professionals while canoeing, hiking, zip lining, rock climbing and more.

The event, a student-initiated event which received a Green Fund grant award, is free and open to all.

Free shuttle service will be provided from the SIU Student Center to Touch of Nature every hour from 9:45 a.m. until 1:45 p.m. (excluding 11:45 a.m.) Return shuttles will be offered hourly from 10:30 a.m. until 3:45 p.m., with the exception of the 11:30 a.m. timeslot.

Try ‘plogging’

Discover the Swedish fitness craze known as “plogging” on April 9 from 4:45 to 6 p.m. at the front entrance of the Student Center.

Think jogging while picking up litter (“plocka upp” is Swedish for “pick up”) and you get the idea. Get fit while sprucing up Mother Nature. Bags and gloves will be provided.

Melding urban planning and sustainability

The geography seminar series and green tour set for April 20 will include a noon tour of sustainable and green features on campus followed by the presentation “Social-Ecological Dynamics in Residential Landscapes of the U.S., Implications for Urban Sustainability,” by Kelli Larson, associate professor in the Arizona State University’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning.

The SIU alumna will discuss how urban land management, people’s values and choices, sustainability implications and other factors intersect. The free presentation is at 1:30 p.m. in Lawson Hall, room 161.

Celebrating SIU sustainability

Earth Month 2018 culminates in the Sustainability Celebration from 9:30-11 a.m. on April 27 with a ceremony at Morris Library. Winners of the 2018 Green Fund grants will be announced and awards will be presented to SIU’s Environmental Ambassadors.

Those attending also can enjoy a variety of interactive displays and activities, sign up for the Saluki Green Action Team, and much more.

Several workshops offered

The Student Center Craft Shop, located in the lower level of the Student Center, is also sponsoring several craft workshops with a “green” slant; register in advance at the Craft Shop or by calling 618/453-1005. Also, a group of SIU students has organized a composting bin workshop.

The workshop schedule includes:

  • Clay flower pot workshop, 5-6:30 p.m., April 5, Craft Shop. Create a clay flower pot by hand, cost $6.
  • Compost bin workshop, 2-5 p.m., April 18, Morris Library lawn. SIU students can make their own small outdoor home cedar compost bins and learn about composting from experts. There will also be a “Composting 101” discussion with question and answer session at 4 p.m. which everyone is welcome to attend. Both are free.
  • Eco-Recreation Design Open House, noon to 2 p.m., April 18, location to be announced. The cross-disciplinary collaborative group includes students working to design and prototype original solutions to improve the campus lake water health. Through such diverse project designs as pedal-powered bicycles and solar fountains, they are exploring ways to reduce the amount of cyanobacteria in the water so the lake remains healthy and usable.
  • Free bike repair workshop in recognition of National Bicycle Day, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., April 19, north entrance of the Student Center. Get free repairs on your bike and register it.
  • Rag rug workshop, 1-3 p.m., April 21, Craft Shop, learn to make a round Amish knot rag rug, $6.
  • Paper making, plant pots, April 26, 4-6 p.m. Participants will make paper, plant starters and seed bombs from recycled paper and other naturally found fibers. $5.

And that’s not all…               

Plans also include:

  • The Zoology, Cooperative Wildlife Research Laboratory and Center for Ecology Spring 2018 Seminar Series – a series of three workshops at 4 p.m. April 5, 12 and 19 at the Life Science III Auditorium. The workshops are free and open to the public.
  • Saluki Green Action Team membership drive – 11 a.m.-2 p.m., April 5, near the north escalators at the Student Center. Students, faculty and staff are invited to join this group which promotes sustainable actions and choices. Members can win prizes, too. You can also join anytime online or at the Sustainability Hub.
  • First Friday Green Tour – noon, April 6, beginning at the Sustainability Hub at the Student Center. The tour highlights the numerous green projects on campus, including the solar-powered picnic table and the Agriculture Building’s green roof.
  • Tree planting, 9 to 11 a.m. and noon to 2 p.m., April 17, near the Communications Building. SIU has earned Tree Campus USA honors for three consecutive years and everyone is welcome to help plant additional trees that are native to campus.
  • Volunteer Day at the SIU Sustainable Vegetable Farm, 3-5 p.m., April 18, Vermicompost Center, 3373 W. Pleasant Hill Road in Carbondale. Come see for yourself what happens at the farm and lend a hand.
  • Farm to Fork Dinner, 5:30 p.m., April 18, at Grinnell Commons. Professional chefs from SIU will prepare a meal featuring locally grown food and drinks. Find the menu and additional details and buy tickets
  • Moonlight canoeing, 6-9 p.m., April 30, Campus Lake boat dock. Students with valid SIU ID can learn about canoeing and SIU courses, take a ride, enjoy s’mores and more at this free event.
  • Many other activities.

Get all of the details

Find the complete schedule of events and additional information online at http://sustainability.siu.edu/participate/earth-day.php.

Numerous campus offices and departments are collaborating to present Earth Month 2018.

Sustainability Council needs members for fall

In addition, the Sustainability Council, which oversees the Green Fund, is accepting applications from Students, faculty and staff for positions that will be open beginning with the fall 2018 semester.

The deadline to apply is April 23 and you can find additional information online.