By Haley Renschler
OXFORD, Miss. — The University of Mississippi will host its 10th Annual Green Week April 16 through April 22 with a series of events designed for students, faculty and staff and community members.
The week is filled with programming to raise awareness about the importance of resource stewardship and includes events ranging from the annual Sustainability Fair to a transportation-related lunch and learn.
“Green Week is an opportunity for our university and the Oxford community to come together and celebrate our relationship with the natural environment,” said Kendall McDonald, project manager for the UM Office of Sustainability. “I think the most fundamental first step to fostering a healthy, sustainable world is to be curious and learn, and this year’s Green Week is full of opportunities to do so.”
The events of the week will kick off on Tuesday, April 17 with a lunch and learn titled “UM Master: Planning for a Pedestrian Friendly Campus.” The event features university architect Ian Banner, who is also director of sustainability and facilities planning, as well as parking and transportation director Mike Harris. They will discuss the newly updated UM Master Plan as it relates to transportation and mobility on campus.
Green Week will culminate on April 22, which is Earth Day, when award-winning poet and essayist Camille Dungy will deliver the 2018 Earth Day Keynote address. Dungy is the editor of Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry the first ever anthology specifically featuring nature writing by African American poets. Other works by Dungy include Guidebook to Relative Strangers, a collection of personal essays that explores the complicated relationships between history, race and landscape.
Interactive events include the annual Sustainability Fair on Wednesday and the 2018 Arbor Day Celebration on Thursday, during which UM students, faculty, staff and community members will be able to participate in a hands-on tree planting in the Grove, hosted in collaboration with Landscape Services. Attendees at the events can take home a champion catalpa tree seedling while supplies last.
“Part of the mission of Green Week is to educate and empower audience members, and we think that this year’s programming accomplishes that goal,” said Lindsey Abernathy, UM associate director of sustainability. “There are opportunities to learn more about general sustainability resources in our area, as well as opportunities to learn about topics more in depth, through the lunch and learn event and the keynote address.”Community and campus organizations are also hosting events in conjunction with Green Week, including the Oxford Community Market’s spring launch, a volunteer day at Strawberry Plains Audubon Center in Holly Springs and Earth Day Yoga, hosted by Campus Recreation on the South Campus Rail Trail.
“We work collaboratively with campus and community partners to plan Green Week, a nice reminder of the collaborative nature of sustainability and environmental work as a whole,” McDonald said. “We cannot address complex environmental problems without teamwork, and Green Week is a great way to bring everyone to the table.”
To encourage community to experience a sustainable activity first-hand, the Office of Sustainability is also hosting a Green Week social media challenge. Participants in the challenge are asked to complete four tasks, share them on social media and will be entered to win a grand prize.
The Green Week schedule of events is as follows:
Tuesday, April 17
- 12:15 p.m.: “UM Master Plan: Planning for a Pedestrian Friendly Campus,” Center for Manufacturing Excellence Multipurpose Room (third floor) Lunch and coffee provided.
- 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.: Oxford Community Market Spring Kick Off, Old Armory Pavilion.
- 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.: First Feast Fundraiser Dinner for the Oxford Community Market, Old Armory Pavilion (tickets required)
Wednesday, April 18
- 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Sustainability Fair, Galtney Lott Plaza
Thursday April 19
- 1 p.m.: Arbor Day Celebration and Tree Planting, the Grove
Saturday April 21
- 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Give Back to SPAC Volunteer Day. Strawberry Plains Audubon Center, Holly Springs, MS. Transportation available—email email@example.com for more information.
Sunday, April 22
- 4 p.m.: Earth Day Yoga on the South UM Campus Rail Trail. ($5 for students, $10 for community members.)
- 7 p.m.: “It’s all Environmental Writing,” 2018 Earth Day Keynote Address from Camille Dungy, Overby Auditorium
Green Week is sponsored by Jim Keras Subaru. For more information, visit greenweek.olemiss.edu