Russell Mueller, IMPACT president, said Earth Day often is overlooked because it is near the end of the spring semester. The group hopes to remind students, faculty and staff of the importance of caring for the environment through its activities, which run through Saturday, April 21. This year's activities are centered on "green" energy.
"The goal is to get more students actively involved in Green Week," Mueller said. "We don't want students to feel lectured at, so we have based most of our events around open discussions to try to get the campus excited and engaged."
Monday, April 16 will kick the week off and feature an environmental film festival presented by the Howard County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Wildcat Guardians. It includes a variety of films regarding soil, water, and energy resources, leading into an open discussion of the films. This event is from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Observatory.
Tuesday, April 17, Kelly Kepner, director of economic development in Benton County, will visit from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. in the Main Building, Room 100. Benton County is well known for its wind farms, so she will give a presentation on how the environment and economy can benefit from wind energy.
Immediately following Kepner's presentation, Leda Casey, lecturer in geology, and Carrie Kinsey, biology laboratory supervisor, will meet students in the geology lab in Hunt Hall, Room 208. As a group, they will travel to the stream behind the parking garage to test pH values and the overall health of the water and, hopefully, catch some of the critters that live in the stream, too.
"It's all about understanding what sustainability is and creating an environmentally sustainable world," said Ligaya McGovern, IMPACT faculty advisor and professor of sociology. "I love that students are becoming more actively interested in our environment."
From 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, Chris Rohlay, who builds and installs solar panels, will speak about solar energy, how it works, and its importance. If you're interested in solar energy, you won't want to miss this event. Rohlay will speak in the Kelley Center, Room 221.
Have you ever wondered why campus looks the way it does? You can find out at 2:30 p.m. Thursday as Casey leads students through campus discussing the geology and geography of IU Kokomo. If you plan to go on this adventure, meet in Hunt Hall, Room 208.
Following the walk through campus, there will be environmental student presentations from 3 to 4 p.m. in the Kelley Center, Room 130. Students will have the opportunity to create a project and presentation about an environmental issue or topic of their choosing. You can create art, an essay or a poster project. Those who participate will also have an opportunity to receive a first place prize of $150, a second place prize of $100, or a third place prize of $50. To participate in this project, contact Russell Mueller at email@example.com, or you can simply arrive, ready to present. If you are a lucky cash-prize winner, you must fill out a form in Student Activities to receive your prize.
Finally, to end the week right, IMPACT will partner with the Science, Math, and Informatics Club to do a creek clean-up project on Saturday, April 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. They will clean up trash and anything else that doesn't belong in our campus' creeks. The group plans to meet in the parking lot by Hunt Hall to gather trash bags and other supplies beforehand. In order to participate in the creek clean-up, you must sign a waiver.
"We plan the creek clean-up so people feel good about doing something good for the campus and our community," Mueller said. "Water is a very important resource to our world, and we need to do everything we can to keep it clean and usable."
Each event through Green Week is free and open to the public, so come on out and work toward improving our environment. If you have any questions regarding Green Week, contact Mueller at firstname.lastname@example.org, Casey at email@example.com or McGovern at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Story by Mary Olk.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.