The Earth Explorers Club of Yuba College gave their fellow students a special opportunity to celebrate the planet by putting on the College’s Second Annual Earth Day Festivities. Last semester’s event, held on April 22nd in the campus quad, featured multiple groups from the College, as well as individuals and businesses from the surrounding communities.
The Earth Explorers Club, who organized the celebration, ran multiple displays, which included a bottled water vs. tap water taste test, a solar cooking station, a sweet pea plant give away and a tee-shirt sale.
Ecology Professor Susan Ramones had her students involved with a poster assignment which educated viewers on the pros and cons of different energy sources. “They have an assignment to read each others’ posters so they’re learning about all the advantages and disadvantages. It’s a classroom assignment, but outside,” explained Ramones.
Another display highlighted efforts the College has been making to help the campus run more efficiently. Some of these efforts include the remodeling of older classrooms and buildings, as well as projects the school has taken on with the help of Measure J funding.
“Whatever we design is still an impact to the environment, but we’ve got to learn to plan very carefully every chance we get to make that impact as minimal as possible,” remarked the Yuba College Director of Facilities Planning, George Parker, who hosted the display.
Groups joining the Earth Day Celebration from the surrounding community included the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) who ran a booth which provided students with information on what types of trees people should be planting in certain areas to avoid interference with utility lines. The representative also informed students of different ways they can reduce their energy costs. PG&E added to the festivities of Earth Day by planting a tree on campus during the event.
Tom and Jeanette Rice of Rice River Ranch also came to the Yuba College Earth day to share information with students about how they operate their orchards through sustainable agricultural practices. “We are here to let people know about sustainability, about the tough balances farmers have to do to take care of not only the land, the air and the water, but also to take care of the health of the orchards and the quality of the food. It’s a tough balance and we’re proud to do it,” said Rice. The couple was also promoting the Marysville Friday Night Farmers Market, which they help organize.
Recycling Industries had a booth on campus to give students the opportunity to recycle small electronic waste products. The group was also letting students know that they would be back the following day, April 23rd, to provide a free e-waste recycling day for larger items that need to be properly disposed of.
Dr. Betsy Julian, the faculty advisor for the Earth Explorers Club, could be seen flitting around the different displays. “I think Earth Day is going great this year. We have good weather which helps. We have lots of community involvement this year which is great because last year it was just a campus event. So this year we have a lot more student participation and a lot more different groups from the community. I’m thrilled today,” said Julian.
Students thoroughly enjoyed the event. Many could be seen wandering through the crowd with new sweet pea plants to take home, while others sported Earth Day T-shirts.
“It’s a good idea. It gets people more aware of what’s going on in the community,” student CJ Leal said of the Earth Day Festivities.
Another student, John Berard, commentated that “Earth day is awesome and everyone should celebrate it.”