James Von Essen
City College environmental activists and other environmentally-conscious individuals are scheduled to gather Thursday on the West Campus Lawn to celebrate the college’s Earth Day Festival and discuss how to minimize harm to our planet.
“We are celebrating Mother Earth,” said Adam Green, chair of the biology department and program chair of environmental studies. “But most importantly reminding people that we have to be more proactive because everyday there is potential for it to get worse.”
The festivities will last from 10 to 2 p.m. Thursday, April 19. The first part of the event will be an interactive workshop that will highlight the college district’s environmental accomplishments to date and encourage discussion of new projects that will further the district’s vision and goal for resource efficiency. After that, attendees will watch people walk the “Trashion Show” runway in garments made from recycled materials.
At 12:30 p.m., former commissioner of sustainability Jackson Hayes will introduce City College’s Superintendent-President Anthony Beebe. Beebe will then give Earth Day remarks and will introduce Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murillo who will speak for the rest of the event.
Green indicated it is particularly important to have such an event on a college campus because it instructs young people who will one day become leaders of the community to engage with environmental issues that will impact the lives of future generations.
The goal is to educate students about what they can do in their local communities to help the environment. Young people who study different disciplines are made to be aware of what they can do in their respective fields to contain harmful phenomenons such as the oil spills of 1969, which historically was a primary motivator behind founding the original Earth Day.
Earth Day was inspired by the student anti-war movement and was led in part by Senator Nelson of Wisconsin, who proposed the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” day. On April 22, 1970, almost 20 million Americans marched the streets and parks to protest for a healthy and more sustainable environment.
The Earth Day in 1970 crossed party, class, and ideological lines with support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, industrialists and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders.
Following in the steps of this movement, the Student Sustainability Committee is the organization hosting Earth Day on City College’s campus.
“It is good for us [City College] to represent Earth Day because it started here,” said Nicholas Hoffstatter, commissioner of sustainability. “We have to carry on the legacy.”
The committee will be offering free food, a build-your-own trail mix bar, and DIY t-shirts from recycled materials.