Celebrating Earth Day at Bucknell University

Connor Bennett, Staff Writer

Sustainability at Bucknell has scheduled two weeks of events to celebrate Earth Week and Earth Day on April 22. Many different clubs on campus were involved in the week including the Bucknell Student Government, Bucknell Outdoor Education and Leadership and the Bucknell Center for Sustainability and the Environment.

All of the events were created by Bucknell students and staff with the aim at engaging Bucknell’s campus on the issue of sustainability, taking place April 10 to April 23.

The surrounding Lewisburg area was also involved in the two weeks and demonstrated the importance of sustainability outside of campus. Highlighted in this article are some of the events from the many that were held for these past two weeks.

Epsilon Eta Sustainability Honor Society 

The week was started off by the Epsilon Eta Sustainability Honor Society. This society is a gender inclusive honor society for students interested in careers in environmental sciences and sustainability. They focus on environmental service on Bucknell’s campus as well as in the surrounding Lewisburg community. 

The group also promotes conservation and environmental issues. The society is open to any major and allows students to be a part of a group that share the same concerns about the environment and sustainability. 

President’s Sustainability Council Meeting

The President’s Sustainability Council Meeting is, “the University’s strategic leadership team for sustainability.” This meeting was open to all Bucknell Students. The main responsibility of this council is to oversee the development and implementation of the University’s Sustainability Plan. Part of this plan includes tracking Bucknell’s carbon footprint and implementing the necessary steps to reach Bucknell’s carbon reduction goals. 

Another major responsibility of the council is preparing and submitting Bucknell’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, STARS, report. President John Bravman is the leader of the council but it is made up of many Bucknell administrators, staff, students and professors from multiple disciplines. Students are able to contact the council with any questions or concerns about how Bucknell is engaging with the environment and sustainability through this link.

Sustainability Symposium

The 10th annual Sustainability Symposium was a two day event that happened between April 14 and 15. The title of the symposium was “Moving from hope to action: Building thriving communities” and it provided “faculty, staff, students, and community stakeholders a forum to share research, teaching, creative works, and collaborations that generates dialogue on the effect of radical hope in influencing action towards creating prosperous communities.”

In previous years the symposium discussed the power of “radical hope” when it comes to sustainability and the environment. This year the aim of the symposium was to discuss the specific actions that help conserve both natural and human communities. 

The keynote speaker for the event was Dr. Curt Gervich of SUNY-Plattsburgh. Dr. Gervich is a professor of Environmental Policy and Planning. Gervich teaches courses in sustainability and environmental law and planning while also sitting on many environmental protections committees. He has received numerous SUNY awards for his work as a professor. 

The aim of his keynote presentation, titled “The Mighty Nature of Small Places,” was to provide Bucknell students with a way to critically engage with ideas surrounding sustainability. The symposium also had over 50 presenters which provided a space to learn from each other and to create new networks in the environmental community. 

Bucknell Outdoor Education and Leadership

The two week celebration of the earth will wrap up this Sunday, April 23 with many outdoor activities available for students to participate in. Bucknell OEL has a hike along Dale’s Ridge, which is just outside of Lewisburg, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. On this hike, students will see the many different landscapes that Earth has to offer from forests to ponds and open fields. This hike is for anyone who wants to engage in the outdoors and no experience is required. 

Bucknell’s OEL is also providing a kayaking trip on April 23. The kayaking trip starts at Milton State Park and finishes at Bucknell landing. The trip is a five mile paddle through the Susquehanna River from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The trip meets at Bucknell’s OEL basecamp and then will ride to Milton.

There are many events that Bucknell’s OEL provides to students. The trips do not only occur during Earth Week and they occur year round with trips across the country and world. The student leaders do a great job of providing a safe and fun learning environment for students who are new to experiencing the outdoors. To sign up for Bucknell Outdoor Education and Leadership trips, students can access this link here.

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