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University of Iowa News Release


March 29, 2010

Note: click on top photo for a larger image of the campus waste sort

Earth Month activities help celebrate 40 years of environmental awareness

waste-sortThis April, the University of Iowa Office of Sustainability will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day by encouraging participation in several opportunities to build a safer, cleaner and healthier environment on campus and in the surrounding community.

The month is full of activities, including a waste sort, tree plantings, stormwater drain stenciling, sustainability related presentations and movies and a "ride your bike to work/class" day.

Earth Day was first celebrated across the country on April 22, 1970, when Gaylord Nelson, then governor of Wisconsin, inspired a group of students to organize environmental awareness activities.  He strongly encouraged local action by individuals and communities, not just focusing an effort centered in Washington, D.C.

biketowork"There are activities and events going on all around our campus and community to celebrate and build awareness about our environment and to commemorate the legacy Nelson established," Liz Christiansen, director of the University's Office of Sustainability, said.

That spirit of environmental awareness is evident within the UI community as the online list of Earth Month activities shows numerous activities that are joint collaborations involving students, faculty and staff. These include:

--Tree planting with UI Landscape Services, 8 a.m. Wednesday, April 7, south of Boyd Law Building.

--Waste audit with ECO Hawk, College of Public Health and Facilities Management, 1-4 p.m. Friday, April 16, courtyard outside Hardin Library, just north of Boyd Tower.

--Stormwater drain stenciling with the UI Water Plant, 10 a.m. Saturday, April 17, meet at the Water Plant.

--Bike to class/work, coordinated by Engineers for a Sustainable World and the UI Environmental Coalition, 1-4 p.m. Thursday, April 22, on the Pentacrest.

--Energy Control Center Ribbon Cutting and Open House, 1-4 p.m. Friday, April 23, third floor, University Services Building.greensummit

--Green Summit and Networking Event, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday, April 23, Iowa Memorial Union, Illinois Room.

--Earth Month Film Series, 2 p.m. on Sundays in April, at the Museum of Natural History, showing "America's Lost landscape," "The Tallgrass Prairie," "King Corn," "Big River," "No Impact Man," and "Mad City Chickens."

--Arbor Day Celebration with UI Landscape Services, 9 a.m. Friday, April 30, northwest corner of the Pentacrest.

Information about Earth Month activities can be found at

ECO Iowa City, an initiative to improve environmental sustainability in Iowa City, also has a comprehensive online calendar of Earth Month events,

The University of Iowa Office of Sustainability coordinates and develops programs to promote sustainability and resource conservation. Our programs and initiatives include students, faculty, staff, and members of the community.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Liz Christiansen, Office of Sustainability,, Amy Myers, Office of Sustainability,; George McCrory, University News Services, 319-384-0012,