Arts & Humanities Campus News Society & Culture

2015 UGA Earth Week to celebrate green initiatives, volunteer opportunities

Athens, Ga. – Each spring, the University of Georgia hosts UGA Earth Week to encourage sustainable living. The weeklong celebration centers on the national Earth Day holiday on April 22.

From April 20-24, the UGA Office of Sustainability, Students for Environmental Action and other campus and community organizations will host events highlighting opportunities ranging from alternative transportation and local food to water resource preservation and career insights from industry leaders.

UGA Earth Week is held in conjunction with Athens-Clarke County GreenFest, a community-wide event that provides citizens with the opportunity to increase their awareness of and interest in improving the environment of their homes, yards, businesses and communities.

Monday, April 20
• Earth Week will kick off with a food truck and farmers market festival in the Tate Student Center Plaza from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition to local food vendors, this event will feature local and student-led organizations promoting sustainability initiatives and hands-on learning activities, bike repairs and food made in Athens. Earth Day T-shirts will be made on-site; bring a lightly colored T-shirt to participate. Partnering organizations include UGA Food Services and the Athens Farmers Market. Contact Meryom Pattillo at for more information.

• The Campus Bike Co-op, a student led group, will lead a leisurely bike ride around Athens to promote alternative transportation. The ride will start at 6 p.m. at Myers quadrangle. Please contact for more information.

• The Athens Science Café will feature Marshall Shepherd as he presents “Zombies, Sports and Cola: What does it mean for communicating weather and climate” at 7 p.m. at The Foundry (previously the Melting Point). Shepherd is the Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor and director of the Atmospheric Sciences Program in the UGA geography department and host of the Weather Channel’s “WXGeeks.” This event is sponsored by the Georgia Climate Change Coalition, the Oconee River Chapter of Trout Unlimited, UGA Office of the Vice President for Research, UGA science library and the UGA President’s Venture Fund.

Tuesday, April 21
• The ACC Stormwater Office will conduct a hands-on workshop from 11 a.m. to noon in Room 140 of the Tate Student Center to inform participants on how to better communicate science through a case study involving pet waste and water pollution. Contact for more information.

• The Inspiring Careers in Sustainability Panel will feature industry leaders from Coca-Cola, Cox Enterprises, Southface and Georgia Power and be moderated by Quint Newcomer, director of UGA Costa Rica. The event will take place from 3:30-5 p.m. in the Larry Walker Room of Dean Rusk Hall. Food will be catered by locally owned home.made. The event is co-sponsored by the Office of Sustainability, the Terry College of Business’ Net Impact and the School of Law’s Environmental Law Association. Contact Meryom Pattillo at for more information.

• The Odum School of Ecology will host the 30th annual 2015 Odum Lecture, delivered by ecologist Nancy Grimm at 4 p.m. in the ecology auditorium. Her presentation will be followed by a reception. Grimm, a professor of ecology in the School of Life Sciences and senior sustainability scientist in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University, studies how climate change and human activities affect ecological processes in aquatic and urban ecosystems. For more information, see

• Peace by Piece UGA is hosting a panel discussion focused on “Sustainability in Religion and Philosophy” at 6:30 p.m. in Room 148 of the Miller Learning Center. This panel will delve into topics such as environmental stewardship and responsibility and how different religions view the environment. For more information, contact

• Yoga Under the Stars will begin at 8 p.m. on Myers quadrangle and will be led by Cal Clements from Rubber Soul Yoga. This event is free, but bring a towel or yoga mat. Contact Students for Environmental Action at for more information.

Wednesday, April 22 (Earth Day)
• A Chew Crew cleanup day will be held from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at Tanyard Creek. Volunteers are asked to meet outside the Hull Street parking deck near Tanyard Creek and will help remove trash and invasive species and conduct general site maintenance. Contact Ansley McKinney at for more information and to sign up.

• The Georgia Review will host award-winning writer and environmental activist Gary Ferguson as the speaker for its annual Earth Day program. The event will start at 7 p.m. in the Day Chapel at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. Contact 706-542-3481 or visit for more information.

• The SXSM (South by South Milledge) Sustainable Spring Concert and no-waste dinner will be held from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in the UGArden, located just past the State Botanical Garden on South Milledge Avenue. Participating bands include the Ecotones and New Nature, Zale and Wieuca. Bring a homemade dish to share. Contact Madeline Breza at for more information.

Thursday, April 23
• Recycling Happy Hour will be held from 5-7 p.m. in parking lot E01 of the UGA intramural fields. This drive-through electronics recycling event is sponsored by the Athens-Clarke County Recycling Division, WUGA, Coca-Cola, UGA Parking Services and the Office of Sustainability. Bring electronics-such as TVs, computers, phones and cables-batteries, light bulbs and cooking grease to the intramural fields and receive a free beverage in return. Contact for more information.

• “The Wisdom to Survive” will be screened at 7 p.m. in Room 137 of the Tate Student Center and includes free snow cones. The event is sponsored by Students for Environmental Action, the Environmental Heath Science Club, Bag the Bag and Speak out for Species. Contact Students for Environmental Action at for more information.

Friday, April 24
• The annual Middle Oconee River Kayaking and Cleanup will be held from 2-5 p.m. at Big Dogs on the River, 2525 Atlanta Highway. Participants will join Big Dogs on the River, UOWN, Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful, the Georgia River Network, UGA Outdoor Recreation and the Office of Sustainability to paddle and clean up the riverbanks of the Middle Oconee River. After the event, participants will enjoy burritos. No paddling experience is required, and signup (at is limited to the first 40 people. Contact trip organizer Meryom Pattillo at for more information.

For more information about UGA Earth Week 2015 activities and volunteer opportunities, see For more information on events and activities during the Athens-Clarke County GreenFest, see