U Of M, Crookston Highlights Earth Week 2011

Earth Week will be marked by several events at the University of Minnesota, Crookston including a campus clean up, activities to raise awareness, and a celebration of campus efforts to save energy. Crookston Students for Sustainable Development (CSSD) will kick off the week on Monday, April 18, 2011, with Trash and Recycling Awareness Day, an effort to demonstrate how much trash an individual creates in a single day.

On Tuesday, April 19, Otter Tail Power Company will join members of the campus and community for a celebration of the success of the Campus Energy Challenge, a special project that brought Otter Tail and the U of M, Crookston together to help reduce energy consumption. Special highlights include community-wide networking beginning at 11:45 a.m. followed by an energy savings celebration at noon with remarks by Chuck MacFarlane, president of Otter Tail Power Company, Charles H. Casey, chancellor at the U of M, Crookston and William Grant, deputy commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Commerce Energy Division. A ceremonial tree planting will take place at 1 p.m., weather permitting.

Beautiful “U” Day will be the focus on Wednesday, April 20 and include a campus and community cleanup. At noon in Youngquist Auditorium, Dr. Larry Baker, a research professor in the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities will present “Urban Heat Islands and Global Climate Change.” Everyone is welcome.

An internationally recognized authority on the water and nutrient cycle of urban environments, Baker will be the featured speaker in the evening as part of a “sustainability supper seminar” beginning at 5 p.m. with a meal in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. His evening presentation, open to the public, will begin at 6 p.m. in Youngquist Auditorium on the topic “Urban Ecosystems and Implications for Global Survivability.” To make reservations for the meal, contact, Michael Knudson, Minnesota GreenCorps member at 218-281-8128 (knud0189@umn.edu). For more information on Dr. Larry Baker, visit www.bbe.umn.edu/People/LarryBaker.

On Thursday, April 21, the campus and community are invited to join in a Critical Mass Bike Ride. The ride begins at 5:30 p.m. and participants are asked to gather at Crookston High School parking lot for the ride. Helmets are required. Because of liability concerns, Critical Mass bike rides are not sponsored by any person or entity, they are just a group of people getting together to go on a ride.  The route will be on roads and paths that are not as busy and all traffic laws will be obeyed.  Those who are unfamiliar with riding on streets will be informed by more experienced group riders.

A mini-grant from the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment helps fund the series of bi-weekly, “sustainability supper seminars” designed to educate the campus and the local community on sustainability applications as well as explore the “Communiversity” concept.

Earth Day, observed annually on April 22, marks the anniversary of what may be considered the birth of the modern environmental movement. The first Earth Day was held in 1970. To learn more, visit www.earthday.org.