College commemorates Earth Week with week-long celebration

Maryville College's Earth Week has come and gone. Participating in events such as a homemade ice cream social and seed planting, many MC students gave back to their enviroment. Photo courtesy of MC website

April 16 marked the beginning of Maryville College’s celebration of Earth Week.

MC has a long-standing reputation within the community of educating students about preservation through its J-term environmental courses, as well has employing green practices around campus.

This year for Earth Week, the college hosted events throughout the week to allow students, faculty, staff and members of the community to become involved with the preservation of our environment.

The events that MC hosted this year for Earth Week involved several hands-on activities, as well as educational sessions about how to incorporate everyday green practices.

Starting the week’s events was Monday’s pottery class, in which 20 individuals created their own clay bowls out of Virginia red clay in the Clayton Center for the Arts.

Tuesday provided a picnic on the lawn of Pearsons, where students, faculty and staff were able to enjoy vegetarian food and hold conversations with Michael Pollan, the author of “Food Rules.”

On Wednesday, Dr. Mark O’Gorman, associate professor of political science and coordinator of MC’s environmental studies program, allowed students to perform an experiential green activity by picking up litter along Court St.

Thursday’s events were centered around the dedication of the solar panels, which be placed near the Crawford House.

The dedication ceremony was funded by a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission.

The individuals who attended the event from the community were representatives of MC, the city of Maryville and the Efficient Energy of Tennessee.

Once the ceremony was over, guests were welcomed to tour the Crawford House, which is in the process of being LEED certified.

On Friday, Earth Week was concluded with a homemade ice cream social and seed planting event.

The ice cream was served in bowls that individuals brought on their own, and seeds were planted in the Organic Community Gardens, which are near the college’s recently planted orchards.

The seeds for the event were provided by Seed Savers Exchange.

The day was brought to an end with the showing of “Living Downstream,” a film about a cancer survivor who discusses how cancer and environmental issues are related.

Along with events that were hosted on campus by MC faculty and staff, the Environmental Action team also hosted two events in which students could show their support for Earth Week.

EAT sold organic cotton T-shirts with a slogan along the front stating, “Be Good to the Earth.”

In addition to the shirt sales, EAT also held a raffle for the green boxes that are being sold in Isaac’s Cafe.

The boxes are originally sold for $5 per container, but those who won the raffle received one box free.

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