University’s Green Week kicks off with Earth Day

Posted on Apr 22 2019 - 5:00am by Grant McLaughlin

The Office of Sustainability is hosting Green Week to raise awareness for environmental issues and support sustainability in the Oxford community this week.

The Strawberry Plains Audubon Center Earth Day Celebration and Swap kicked off the week last Saturday. Community members swapped gently used outdoor equipment, books and apparel.

Today, volunteers will help remove invasive plants and collect litter from the South Campus Rail Trails to celebrate Earth Day. There will also be a potluck in the Strawberry Plains Audubon Center located in Holly Springs.

The Grove. File photo by Haleigh McNabb

“It is an exciting time to work in sustainability on the UM campus,” associate director of sustainability Lindsey Abernathy said. “Interest in environmental and social sustainability and equity continues to grow with groups and organizations all over campus working on these important topics.”

Associated Student Body principal of campus sustainability Jaideep Rao said he is enthusiastic about the week and is proud of all of the collaborative work that has gone into its planning.

“The Office of Sustainability has done a fantastic job of planning and coordinating many different events, which are all going to be great at involving students and educating the UM community about various aspects of sustainability,” Rao said.

Rao said he is most excited to hear Felder Rushing of Mississippi Public Broadcasting speak about his experience growing herbs in unique pot substitutes Tuesday in the Lafayette County & Oxford Public Library auditorium.

He is also looking forward to J. Drew Lanham, a professor of wildlife at Clemson University, delivering the keynote address.

Lanham will discuss convergences between conservation and culture and the need for people to gather a variety of data to conserve nature on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Weems Auditorium in the law school.

“It is an honor to be among fellow writers and nature lovers celebrating such an important day,” Lanham said. “This is my second time coming to Ole Miss, but it is my first time being the keynote speaker. It is nice to have my words work on the behalf of the earth.”

Both campus and local organizations will participate in the promotion of sustainability this week.

“Just this year, multiple new student groups have formed that focus on these issues, and faculty and staff continue to do great work in terms of student support, research and community engaged learning,” Abernathy said.

RebelWell, the UM Garden Club and the ASB Sustainability Committee are just a few of the organizations participating in the Sustainability Fair on Thursday in the Galtney-Lott Plaza on Business Row.

“Students are encouraged to attend any Green Week event that interests them, but if they could attend just one to learn about how to get involved in sustainability on campus, I would suggest the Sustainability Fair,” Abernathy said.