WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., April 18, 2018 — West Liberty University is increasing its sustainability efforts this year as it plans a weeklong celebration of Earth Day, Monday – Friday, April 23 – 27.
The Environmental Education Week was planned by the Environmental Education subcommittee of the WLU Sustainability Committee, chaired by Dr. Vishakha Maskey, and includes a variety of events, many open to the public. Other member of the Environmental Education subcommittee include Dr. James Wood and Director of the Center for Arts and Education Lou Karas.
“The committee works hard to promote Earth Day on campus and is pleased to sponsor a week of educational activities. The big day for WLU will be Wednesday, April 25 with a daylong program of lectures, demonstrations and campus involvement,” said Keith Kazcor, chairman of the Sustainability Committee and a Trades Specialist in the Physical Plant. Also serving on the Sustainability Committee are: Professor Aron Massey, Dr. Miriam Roth Douglas, Dr. Anna Stephan-Robinson and Dr. Maskey.
Activities planned for the week of green education include:
- 10 a.m. lecture on Creating Sustainability Culture with Dr. Maskey, Alumni Room, College Union
- 11 a.m., Watersheds Link Us Together: Fresh water, safe water and the future with Dr. James Wood, Alumni Room, College Union
- 11:30 a.m. lecture on Water Quality in Wheeling and Short Creeks, with student Emma McClelland
- 12:30 p.m. lecture with Dr. Zachary Loughman, Alumni Room, College Union
- 3 p.m. Campus Clean-up, meets at Beta Hall parking lot
- 10 a.m. April 25 President Stephen Greiner will welcome everyone and get the day in the College Union.
- 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Environmental Education Day includes approximately 20 businesses or individuals set-up booth style to share information, examples include: Grow Ohio Valley, Trane of Pittsburgh, Bike Wheeling and the Falk School of Sustainability, Chatham University and Warwood Farmers Market.
- 11 a.m. and 2 p.m Trail walks along the WLU campus trails take place and meet near Boyd Hall. Participants are asked to wear appropriate shoes since much of the trail is wooded and unpaved. This trail expansion is a work in progress that is a result of this year’s Outdoor Learning Spaces Exploratory Committee’s work.
- WGLZ student radio station presents National Vinylthon 2018 all day long
- 3 p.m. lecture on West Virginia Sun with student Autumn Long, Alumni Room, College Union.
Thursday, April 26
- Noon, lecture on Native Plant and Pollinators and the Exotic Invasive Plants Fueling their Decline with Dr. James Wood, Alumni Room, College Union.
Friday, April 27
- 10 a.m. lecture on Almost Level West Virginia: Political Ecologies of Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining with Aron Massey, Alumni Room, College Union.
- 11 a.m. lecture on Future Directions of West Liberty University with Mark Swiger, Alumni Room, College Union.
The Sustainability Committee is divided into recycling and social media, data and energy, environmental education and outdoor learning spaces. A continuation of the former President’s Council on Sustainability, WLU’s green effort officially began in 2008.
“We’ve strengthened our identity this year as we look to new and future goals. We stress that sustainability is everyone’s responsibility. We launched a real campaign and created videos on green,” Kazcor explained.
One of the biggest pushes is capitalizing on the rural nature of the hilltop campus, which includes many trees and open spaces.
The Outdoor Learning Spaces Exploratory committee is chaired by Dr. Miriam Roth Douglas and it has been discussing ways to incorporate the natural world into the classroom setting.
“We are developing an outdoor-learning space and walking trail in an area of campus that is wooded and used very little. It is very exciting and will benefit our campus in a variety of ways,” said Douglas.
Many other changes are in the works, like adding ropes courses, team building and adventure activities
Other members of the Outdoor Learning Spaces Exploratory Committee are Director of the Center for Arts and Education Lou Karas, Dr. Catherine Monteroso, Dr. Anna Stephan-Robinson, Director of Student Activities Kate Billings, Dr. James Wood, Graduate Teaching Assistant in Community Education Ramsay Core, Graduate Assistant in Biology Audrey Sykes, Graduate Assistant in Biology Daniel Meyer, Dr. Zachary Loughman, Dr. Jason Metz, Professor Kathleen Wack, volunteer Mark Swiger and Outdoor Education student Hannah Benner.
For more information on the sustainability work, follow @wlurecycle on Twitter and Instagram.