Campus, community organizations collaborate for weeklong series of sustainability-focused events
The University of Mississippi’s eighth annual Green Week celebration, coordinated by the Office of Sustainability, is set for April 16-24.
Established in 2009, Green Week features a variety of interactive events that allow UM students, faculty, staff and Oxford residents to explore ways to live a more sustainable life and the importance of doing so.
“Green Week is a collaborative effort among university and community organizations to raise awareness about the importance of living in a sustainable way with a focus on humans’ relationships to the natural world,” said Lindsey Abernathy, project manager in the Office of Sustainability. “The schedule is designed to include a variety of topics, ranging from a panel discussion on the lead water crisis in Flint, Michigan – which will tie in social sustainability – to events like the Tree Trail Walk and the Earth Day Yoga Hikes, which combine wellness with environmental sustainability.”
A cornerstone of the Green Week schedule is the Earth Day keynote address, delivered this year by Linda Hogan, a Native American poet and author with a focus on environmental issues, indigenous culture and tribal history. Hogan will speak at 7 p.m. April 21 in the Overby Center Auditorium.
Events throughout the week are hosted by groups including the environmental studies minor, Department of Campus Recreation, UM Garden Club, Landscape Services and Sustainable Oxford. The event schedule includes:
Saturday, April 16
2:30-3:30 p.m. – Mississippi River Water Dance, Mud Island River Walk, Memphis
Monday, April 18 and Tuesday, April 19
10 a.m. April 18 and 1 p.m. April 19 – Tree Appreciation Walk, meet at Quad fountain
Tuesday, April 19
6 p.m. – “End of Suburbia” film screening, also featuring the short film “Food for Thought, Food for Life,” Mississippi Sustainable Agriculture Network and Sustainable Oxford office, 68 Highway 334
Wednesday, April 20
10 a.m.-2 p.m. – Sustainability Fair, Ole Miss Student Union Plaza
4 p.m. – “Something in Our Water: Perspectives on Flint, Jackson and Environmental Racism in America” panel discussion, Overby Center Auditorium
Thursday, April 21
11 a.m. – Brunch and Bloom free lunch, UM Campus Garden (behind Residential College South)
7 p.m. – Earth Day Keynote Speech: Linda Hogan, Overby Center Auditorium
Friday, April 22
7:30-9 a.m. and 5:30-7 p.m. – Guided Earth Day nature and yoga hikes, South Campus Rail Trail
Noon – Arbor Day Tree Planting, Lyceum Circle across from Brevard Hall. Take home an Ole Miss champion tree seedling while supplies last.
Sunday, April 24
6-8 p.m. – Sustainable Oxford Forum and Potluck, Powerhouse. Bring your best chili, gazpacho, soup, puree or juice blend to share.
Each event is designed to be informative and interactive. The Mississippi River Water Dance at Mud Island expands the scope of Green Week beyond the Lafayette-Oxford-University community. Presented by the UM Department of Theatre Arts with support from the UM Green Fund, the performance features student dancers using their art form to bring awareness to important water issues such as clean drinking water and rising sea levels. A shuttle from campus to Memphis is available.
The Tree Trail Walks, led by UM arborist Nathan Lazinsky, allow students, faculty and staff to develop a deeper understanding of the importance of trees on the Ole Miss campus. During this year’s Arbor Day Celebration, seedlings from the giant catalpa tree near the Ole Miss Student Union, a Mississippi Champion Tree, will be given away, allowing participants to take home a piece of the campus’ natural legacy.
The annual Sustainability Fair will feature local vendors and organizations such as farmers, campus and community groups, and local food vendors. Participants will have opportunities to earn prizes as they learn about resources for sustainable living.
“One of the most fun events is the Sustainability Fair that takes over the Union Plaza,” said Kelli Coleman, a junior biology major from Texas and 2016 Green Week Coordinator. “It’s a great way to learn about what is going on at Ole Miss and in Oxford and how you can get involved.”