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University Celebrates Earth Day

University Celebrates Earth DayA bright, warm spring afternoon brought hundreds of people outside on April 20 to join the University’s celebration of Earth Day.

Students and employees could learn about alternative transportation options available through car sharing, bike sharing, or the free Charm City Circulator bus service. Those interested in greening up their lives could have grabbed a free sapling or helped plant native species near the Pharmacy Learning Center. There was information about how to boost recycling of common office waste, old electronics, and personal items such as books and clothes, as well as cooking demonstrations with locally sourced foods and a hybrid vehicle station. 

The University’s Earth Day events were organized by the UMB Go Green initiative, which promotes sustainability policies and practices on campus and among students and employees. 

Many of the Earth Day festivities were held on the lawn in front of the School of Nursing, though the University of Maryland Medical Center hosted events across the street. And students from James McHenry Elementary School exhibited artwork made from recycled refuse in the SMC Campus Center’s Green Room.

Graduate student Emily Cheng said she was interested in the raffle for a full share in a Community Supported Agriculture cooperative run by One Straw Farm. And Atieno Akumu, an employee of the medical center, said she was encouraged by the efforts being made to promote bike sharing on campus. “I was wondering when we were going to get it,” she said.

Clare Banks, the education and awareness chair of the University’s Sustainability Steering Committee, said she wants the interest shown by members of the campus community on Earth Day to be nurtured and channeled throughout the year. UMB Go Green has a website and a Twitter feed (@umbgogreen). 

“I’d like to see sustainability become a seamless part of everything we do at the University,” Banks said.

— Jeffrey Raymond


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