Celebrate Earth Day the NSU way

NSU will celebrate Earth Day with a tree planting ceremony, live music from Radio X, face painting, free food and a speech by Don Rosenblum, dean of the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences, in addition to faculty lectures throughout the week.

The free community event, hosted by Farquhar, will take place on April 26, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. around Gold Circle Lake. There will also be face painting for all attendees, though children from the local community will be encouraged to participate.

Sanne Siska, a freshman business major involved in planning the event, said, “We wanted to include things like free ice cream and face painting to target children because they are a major factor in making a difference in our world. It all starts with them.”

Rosenblum will discuss the importance of celebrating Earth and the ways NSU can become a greener campus.

Because this is the first year NSU is holding an Earth Day Celebration, Siska said the number of activities that were able to be held is limited. Yet, she’s happy with the support offered by the university community.

“Although we are limited, we’ve had so much support from students and organizations that were willing to help and get involved with this event, which is so important because that’s what we want this event to be about,” Siska said.

Leading up to the celebration, four faculty lectures were held on April 16 and five more will be held on April 23.

Song Gao, associate professor in Farquhar’s Division of Math, Science and Technology, selected the lectures with the goal of raising awareness, action and academic insight.

Lecture topics on Wednesday will include “Truth and Consequences – Oil Spills,” presented by Deanne Roopnarine, assistant professor and coordinator of biological sciences; “Adversary and Recovery — Coral Reefs,” presented by Nicole Fogarty, assistant professor at the Oceanographic Center; and “Overpopulation vs. Overconsumption – People on Earth,” presented by Eileen Smith-Cavros, associate professor in the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Gao said he asked faculty to discuss timely issues that relate to Earth and how to view it from a microbial view.

“The lectures will make students realize and understand that they must always be thinking about the earth, not only for now, but for the future as well,” he said. “We all must have a balanced, sustainable approach to how we live and how we work as a society.”

Also on April 23, NSU’s Plant Lab Garden will have its grand opening in the northwest entrance of the Parker Building. Students will join Venkatesh Shanbhag, associate professor in the Division of Math, Science and Technology, in discussing their plant research projects.

Last year, for the first time, NSU was accepted to Tree Campus USA, an association that recognizes and helps universities around the country establish and sustain a healthy campus.

Jeffrey Heard, grounds supervisor of NSU’s Facilities Management, said NSU is proud to be a part of this organization and is making the campus a greener and cleaner place.

“There were a lot of requirements NSU had to meet to be a part of this organization, one of which was holding an Arbor Day celebration, held on April 19 last year, where we planted a tree next to the Gold Circle Lake,” he said.

When Siska and co-organizer Natalia Hernandez-Pryszlack, also a freshman business administration major, learned about last year’s small Arbor Day tree ceremony, they were motivated to turn it into a larger event.

“We thought, ‘Why don’t we team together as a school community and provide awareness for Arbor Day and Earth Day by taking a fun and dynamic approach?’” Hernandez-Pryszlack said.

Hernandez-Pryszlack said students need a plan of action to help conserve the earth.

“At this point, we can’t just tell students what to do; we need to show them. Rather than forcing people to sign a contract saying ‘You must recycle,’ we want to encourage students to come to the events to open their eyes to the damage being done to the world,” Hernandez-Pryszlack said.

Support from her peers has given her hope for the future.

“Seeing all this involvement from students really showed us that there are so many people who want to make a change,” said Hernandez-Pryszlack. “If we all come together and unite for one cause, we can really transform the earth.”

For a detailed list of faculty lectures, visit fcas.nova.edu/arts/news/index.cfm. For more information on the Earth Day celebration or to get involved, contact Siska at ss3121@nova.edu

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