ETSU to celebrate Earth Month with many free, public events


JOHNSON CITY (April 2, 2014) — East Tennessee State University will celebrate Earth Month 2014 during April with many events and activities.

This is the fifth year ETSU has participated in Earth Month, with over 30 events scheduled to raise awareness and encourage action to conserve natural resources. Of special interest to the public are a number of free events. 

  • The Environmental Conservation Organization (ECO) student group will host University Woods Appreciation Week, beginning with a guided nature walk through the wooded area behind the campus at noon on Monday, April 7. Participants should meet at the outdoor pavilion near the trailhead in parking lot 13.
  • “Giving Character to the Landscape: An Environmental History of the American Chestnut,” will be the talk given by environmental historian Don Davis on Tuesday, April 8, at 7 p.m. in the Ball Hall auditorium. Davis, a Washington, D.C.-based scholar and author, will present the tree’s history and cultural significance in the Southern Appalachian mountains, as well as discuss a version of the species poised for a comeback.
  • ECO will participate in Campus Beautification Day on Wednesday, April 9, with a day of service devoted to trail maintenance and litter pick-up. Those wishing to assist should email to register and meet at 1:30 p.m. at the University Quad.
  • On Thursday, April 10, at 7 p.m. in the D.P. Culp University Center’s Forum Room, David Cooke will discuss “Grow Appalachia: Food Security in Central Appalachia One Family at a Time.” Cooke is director of the Grow Appalachia project, assisting families in Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee with growing as much of their own food as possible to address food insecurity in the region through the use of gardening grants and educational opportunities.
  • On Friday, April 11, at 3 p.m. in Lamb Hall, room 132, Scotty Bowman will present the efforts of TN Wild, a coalition of organizations seeking wilderness designation for parts of the Cherokee National Forest.
  • “Disney’s Earth” will be shown outdoors in the Amphitheatre on Monday, April 14, at 8 p.m. The nature documentary takes viewers from the North Pole in January to the South Pole in December, revealing how plants and animals respond to the power of the sun and the changing seasons.
  • On Thursday, April 17, the film “Water Blues: Green Solutions” will be shown in the Culp Center Forum Room at 7 p.m. The documentary shows what communities in Philadelphia, Portland, San Antonio and the Bronx are doing to solve water problems in their areas.
  • The ETSU Earth Day Festival will be held Tuesday, April 22, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in Borchuck Plaza, outside the Charles C. Sherrod Library. In case of rain, the activities will move into the Cave patio area of the Culp Center. In addition to activities and music, prizes will be awarded to winners of several campus contests.
  • Also on April 22, ETSU will hold a “Campus Blackout” by turning out the lights in offices, classrooms and residence halls to reduce fossil fuel use.
  • On Wednesday, April 23, activist and actress Park Overall will discuss “Regional Industries and Their Environmental Impact” at 6 p.m. in the Culp Center Forum Room. Best known as nurse Laverne Higby Todd Kane in the television comedy “Empty Nest,” Overall is also an environmental and women’s rights activist who advocates for environmental and social justice in her native East Tennessee.
  • “Brightening the 21st Century” will be the topic on Tuesday, April 29, at 7 p.m. in the Culp Center’s meeting room 6, when the “Solar Nun,” Sister Paula Gonzalez, speaks on topics related to sustainable living. She is the founder of EarthConnection, an environmental learning center operated by the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati.  

For a complete listing of Earth Month events, visit the ETSU Sustainability Web site at  For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at (423) 439-8346.

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