by Amy K. Lavender

For the past five days, the University of West Georgia has celebrated Earth Week with a variety of events and activities.

Students, faculty and staff kicked off the week with a nature walk on UWG’s campus trails on Monday. A guided tour led by UWG staff led the group in their exploration of the campus’ scenic beauty. Tuesday followed with a Sustainability Career Panel, featuring professionals from Tanner Health System, Southwire, Keep Carroll Beautiful and the Environmental Protection Agency. Topics covered included employment opportunities in environmental consulting, regulation, compliance and education.

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Organizers marked the mid-point of the week with a tree and garden planting at the UWG campus garden, where trees were planted nearby and the soil was prepared for this year’s vegetable plants. All of these events led up to the Sustainability Expo on Thursday at the Carrollton Cultural Arts Center. The event featured interactive booths, tiny house tours, food, live music and a very special guest speaker: American writer, naturalist and environmental activist Janisse Ray.

The whole week wrapped up with a trip to the local farmers market in downtown Carrollton, which features produce, meat and other prepared products that are locally grown and sustainably sourced.

Earth Week organizer and associate professor of geosciences Dr. Hannes Gerhardt said he was pleased with the level of participation over the week, but he was especially please with the expo.

“One of the strategic imperatives of the University of West Georgia is community outreach, and I think that is exactly what happened here at the expo,” said Gerhardt, who also serves as director for UWG's Center for Sustainability. “We had community members, students and university faculty and staff show up in large numbers to learn about environmental efforts and resources being offered by businesses and organizations in our region. The auditorium with was filled to capacity to hear featured speaker Janisse Ray. I think it’s great that the university could facilitate such an event and that we have the kind of community that makes such an event possible."

Posted on April 28, 2017