Celebrate Earth Day at UK

Today marks the 55th annual celebration of Earth Day, the worldwide event that raises awareness of the need to protect Earth’s natural resources for future generations. 

University of Kentucky’s Campus Sustainability Officer Shane Tedder says that although sustainability is a year-round effort for UK, during April the university hosts various environmentally focused events that bring the community together. 

“Earth Day is a catalyst and inspiration for organizations both on campus and in the community to host events that highlight and promote environmental awareness and environmental stewardship. It’s great opportunity for everyone to be a part of sustainability-related solutions,” Tedder said. “In the two decades that I’ve been here, I have seen sustainability shift from a primarily student driven priority to something that is really fully integrated across the various activities of the university.” 

The remaining UK Earth Month Events 2024 include litter clean-ups, film screenings, terrarium workshops and more. The UK and Lexington communities are invited to take part in all of these events. 

“While I strive to celebrate and appreciate the Earth each and every day, I believe that Earth Day can be an important tool in creating the spaces people need to start getting involved,” said Callie Dickman, director of sustainability for the UK Student Government Association. “I am excited to be planning a showing of Wall-E on campus for Earth Day, as well as a Picnic for the Planet later that week. The picnic will feature a climate card game that walks people through a conversation about climate change, and I think Earth Day is all about creating those safe spaces for people to talk openly about their fears and hopes around climate to find resiliency.”

Events can also be found in the Lexington community here.  

“Earth Day is a bit of a phenomenon and has certainly grown over the last five and a half decades to be a global rallying point for people to tune in on environmental issues,” Tedder said. “I think it still has a place of importance as being a day that can highlight that.” 

Outside of the Earth Day celebrations and events, UK Sustainability is working on an updated sustainability plan. The intent is that it be released to campus for review and carried out through 2030.

Katherine Johnson

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