Students, faculty and administrators – including President Devorah Lieberman and Vice President for Facilities and Technology Clive Houston-Brown – gathered behind the Health Center for the grand opening ceremony of the during the Earth Day festivities Wednesday.
“It’s a community effort,” said Jay Jones, professor of biology.
As the symbolic green ribbon was cut to open the garden, everyone applauded. It signified a new beginning to the University’s efforts in promoting sustainability.
“Gardening is for not only the environment but also the economy,” said Cassidy Furnari, president of the Botany and Gardening Club.
“It helps save water because a lot of mainstream agriculture uses a lot of water to produce their food as well as transport it,” she said.
As for other Earth Day events, various clubs and organizations congregated at Sneaky Park to promote on-campus sustainability.
A variety of student groups participated, including Students Engage in Environmental Discussion and Service, or SEEDS, the Sustainable Campus Consortium and the ULV Dance Team and sororities.
LeoFM also offered over-the-air Earth Day tips.
Bón Appetit catering provided reusable eco-friendly lunch trays.
Many clubs had Earth Day activities to celebrate the day. Some clubs gave environmentally friendly tips to students.
“Use less plastics. It’s a big thing that’s going around recently and it’s really wasting the environment,” said Tyler Dacey, vice president of SEEDS. “You can buy one water bottle and keep refilling it. We have refill stations all over campus.”
The University is working on making the campus a greener and more sustainable one.
“We have members who are part of facilities and technology and they’ve been (removing) turf and replacing it with drought-tolerant plants,” said Christine Broussard, professor of biology and co-chairwoman of the SCC.
“They’ve been replacing fixtures with low-flow water fixtures, replacing lights with LED lights that are more environmentally friendly,” Broussard said.
The University only builds on-campus structures that follow environmentally efficient standards, she added.
Vista La Verne and Campus Center are environmentally friendly buildings. Both are Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certified, which means they meet certain standards for reduced water and energy consumption, indoor air quality and more.
Julian Mininsohn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.