Campus to observe Earth Day

Visitors to Western Carolina University’s Earth Day celebration on Thursday, April 22, will be able to enjoy activities ranging from planting seeds in used plastic bottles to dining on a variety of “green” menu items at Courtyard Dining Hall.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

On the lawn of A.K. Hinds University Center, Yellow Bike Project volunteers will repair and paint donated bicycles. Base Camp Cullowhee, which hosts WCU outdoor programs, will hold a “no trace left behind” demonstration. On display will be “Mount Trashmore,” an artistic representation of the quantity of debris volunteers will have pulled from the river during the Tuckasegee River cleanup on April 17.

In addition, information tables or activities also will highlight the Eco CATS student organization, campus wellness and sustainability initiatives, the WCU Center for Service Learning’s community garden, Avant Garden, Watershed Association of the Tuckasegee River, Appalachian Homestead, sociology club, Greening Up the Mountains festival and Jackson County Green Energy Park.

Meanwhile, Aramark, WCU’s food service partner, will host a special “Happy bEARTHday, Earth Day” lunch at Courtyard Dining Hall in honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Featured menu items will include stuffed mushrooms with wild rice, grilled polenta cakes with Moroccan stew, a noodle bar, tofu fried rice, garden pita wraps, lasagna casseroles and, of course, birthday cake.

“2010 Earth Day is a great way to showcase the partnership between Aramark, our students, faculty and administration on topics related to sustainability,” said Mathew Lugo, marketing manager for WCU Dining Services.

Event sponsors are WCU’s Office of Energy Management; Eco CATS and Aramark food services. For more information, contact Lauren Bishop, energy manager, at 828-227-3562 or at