Earth Day Every Day

 

Frank Cicela of Cedar Rapids gives daughter Mariana, 8, a lift, with daughter Elea, 13, by his side Saturday, April 11, 2009, during an Earth Month Wildflower Walk at Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Center near Toddville.

Frank Cicela of Cedar Rapids gives daughter Mariana, 8, a lift, with daughter Elea, 13, by his side Saturday, April 11, 2009, during an Earth Month Wildflower Walk at Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Center near Toddville.

Earth Day will be celebrated on Wednesday, April 22, but in Eastern Iowa, it’s more than just one day. Corridor Earth Project, a collaboration of about 20 organizations between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, has events scheduled throughout the month. The University of Iowa also has activities slated for the coming week.

 I already attended one Earth Day walk at Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Center near Toddville. Despite finding just one flower in bloom — a dainty white bloodroot — it was a gorgeous day to be outdoors.  Conservation education specialist Gail Barels noted that two years ago “everything was up” and plants were blooming before mid-April. That was an early spring, she said, while this year appears to be a normal spring, if Iowa has such a thing.

   The Corridor Earth Project events can be found on its Web site at: www.corridorearthproject.com

 Following are the University of Iowa events:

 

Saturday, April 18

–The UI Green Summit will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Room W401 of the Pappajohn Business Building. The Green Summit is an academic conference created to empower student environmental leaders and equip them with practical social, scientific, political and business skills to put their passion into practice.

   The keynote address will be given by Iowa State Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City, followed by forums featuring the following speakers: environmental planner Mike Berkshire; Alec B. Scranton, UI professor of chemical and biochemical engineering; Mark Kresowik of the Sierra Club; and Craig Just, coordinator of sustainability programs in the UI College of Engineering.

The day will continue with an interactive Expo of community organizations and progressive local projects. The Expo begins at 1 p.m. on the Pentacrest.

The Green Summit and Expo are free and open to the public, but registration for the summit is recommended at http://www.thegreensummit2009.com. For more information contact Abbie Gruwell at agruwell@gmail.com.

Sunday, April 19

–“Take Me to the River” Iowa Riverbank Cleanup, 1 to 4 p.m. Volunteers will clean up flood debris and develop the Iowa River portage trail. Participants should wear old clothes and sturdy shoes (no flip-flops) as work will be dirty and strenuous. Volunteers can park and meet at the Iowa City Peninsula Thornberry Off-Leash Dog Park lot, 1790 Canton St. off Foster Road, or on the Coralville side of the Iowa River near the pedestrian walkway adjacent the Iowa River Power Restaurant, 501 1st Ave.

The City of Iowa City, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Johnson County Conservation Board, and UI Civic Engagement Program are sponsoring this event.
For more information call 319-335-7589 or email
civic-engagement@uiowa.edu.

Monday, April 20

–The film “The 11th Hour,” narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, will be shown at 8 p.m. in Room 101 of Biology Building East.

Tuesday, April 21

–Pappajohn Business Building waste characterization audit, 8:30 to 11:00 a.m. at the Kautz Plaza, between Trowbridge and Calvin Halls. The Tippie College of Business has been a campus leader in sustainable practices. The waste audit will help identify areas for further improvements in recycling and reducing the environmental footprint of the Tippie College of Business.

The audit will be held in cooperation with the UI Office of Sustainability, City of Iowa City, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, City Carton Recycling, East Central Iowa Council of Governments, UI Facilities Management and other public and private agencies. The teams will work together to examine the composition of the college waste stream and provide baseline data needed for planning future reduction efforts. By identifying the amounts of key waste components, the UI can target specific recyclable products and the processes to divert them from the landfill.

UI geography student Eric Holthaus, a member of UI Environmental Coalition, will coordinate the project. Among the student organizations pledging support for this project are UI Student Government, the UI Environmental Coalition, the UI Public Interest Research Group, Engineers for a Sustainable World, and Future Physicians for the Environment.

–“Careers for Change” lecture, 4 p.m., in 1124 University Capitol Center (UCC) and a public lecture on climate change at 7 p.m. in 1117 (UCC). Both lectures are sponsored by the UI Center for Human Rights and will be given by energy and environmental lawyer Carrie La Seur, founder and president of Plains Justice, a Cedar Rapids-based public interest environmental law center that works for environmental justice.

— The film “Who Killed the Electric Car?” will be shown at 8 p.m. in Room 101 of Biology Building East.

Wednesday, April 22

–Bike to School Day and ice cream social, 1 to 5 p.m. on the Pentacrest. The UI Environmental Coalition and Office of Sustainability are hosting this event. World of Bikes will offer a free bike tune-up clinic, and Heyn’s Ice Cream and New Pioneer Coop will provide scoops of ice cream to bikers. The UI Touch the Earth program and Bicyclists of Iowa City club will share information on biking and outdoor trips. For more information contact Eric Holthaus at eric-holthaus@uiowa.edu or Katie Fassbinder at katie-fassbinder@uiowa.edu.

–The film “An Inconvenient Truth” narrated by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, will be shown at 8 p.m. in Room 101 of Biology Building East.

Thursday, April 23

–At 1:30 p.m., an open house at the UI Environmental Coalition Student Garden will include a visit from President Sally Mason. Students and the Office of Sustainability will showcase the new student demonstration garden, located off of Hawkeye Park Road near the Hawkeye Recreation and Tennis Complex.

–The film “The Future of Food,” will be shown at 8 p.m. in Room 101 of Biology Building East.

Friday, April 24

–Arbor Day tree planting by UI Landscape Services, 9 a.m. on the Pentacrest.

The UI is also encouraging students, faculty and staff to take the “Power Down for the Planet” pledge at http://www.powerdownfortheplanet.org. By signing the pledges, computer users agree to use their computer power management tools whenever possible and to look for Energy Star-qualified equipment when making purchases. The deadline to pledge is Friday, April 17. The UI and college campuses across the nation are taking part in this effort. At the end of the campaign, the university with the highest percentage of pledges wins the challenge. At the UI, the results will be announced by President Mason on April 23 during the student garden dedication event.

For a complete calendar of events during Earth Month visit http://energy.uiowa.edu

 

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