A-State Celebration of Earth Day is Set for April 17

JONESBORO – Area businesses, industries and more than 700 local K-12 students will join Arkansas State University’s students, faculty and staff to celebrate Earth Day, Wednesday, April 17, on the Heritage Lawn on the east side of the Carl R. Reng Student Union.

Festivities get underway at 10 a.m. and continue until 1:30 p.m. Chancellor Kelly Damphousse will provide opening remarks and Johnathan Reaves, KASU-FM 91.9 news director, will serve as emcee. Hot dogs, cooked by Centennial Bank personnel, chips and drinks will be served and the A-State Pep Band will perform. The event is open to the public.

Student organizations, research groups and public interest groups will discuss the conservation of natural resources, clean water and recycling. Other speakers include representatives from Craighead County Green Business Community, a presentation by Nettleton EAST, Kraig Pomrenke of the LEED certified Embassy Suites and Red Wolf Convention Center, Jennifer Reaves will discuss a healthy Jonesboro and Chad Woodard of VeoRide will speak along with the A-State Environmental Club/A-State Alley Cat Club.

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In addition, the Equine Center will provide a hippotherapy horse to interact with children, and many of the groups present will have live animals, including snakes and bunnies. The A-State entomology lab will bring hissing cockroaches and many other types of insects for children to see.

Participating area businesses will have booths, including a pollinator booth from A-State with researchers working on crop pollination. Seed “bombs” for a pollinator garden or seeds set in clay will be given to the students to throw into the ground to plant. There will be a game where participants pick out the bees on a poster consisting of many types of insects.

Other booths on site will be provided by Marck Industries Inc., Arkansas Forestry Commission, Johnson Controls, Craighead County 4-H, Girl Scouts, Craighead County-Jonesboro Public Library, My Healthy Jonesboro, Northeast Arkansas Master Naturalists, NEA Bicycle Coalition, Arkansas Citizens’ Climate Lobby, U.S. Department of Agriculture ARS researchers and Gearhead Outfitters.

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Groups from A-State will set up booths, including the Student Government Association, Environmental Club, Avian Ecology, Ecotox, Wildlife Society, Natural History Collections Curation Club (NHC3), American Fisheries Society, Pre-Dental Club, Women in Science, Stormwater Committee and Facilities Maintenance recycling program.

A living memorial of Earth Day 2019 will include a tree planting on the A-State campus.  This year’s tree planting will take place along the east and west sides of Marion Berry Parkway between the railroad overpasses. The goal is to plant a total of 16 willow oak trees.  A $200 contribution will sponsor a tree, planting and recognition on a plaque to be placed near the trees.  Contributions can be made online.

The observance of Earth Day is the idea of San Francisco activist John McConnell and Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson. Both had an interest in environmental issues. In 1970, each requested Americans join in a grassroots demonstration, and today Earth Day continues to be widely celebrated with events. The most common form of celebration is to plant new trees for Earth Day.

For additional information, contact Jennifer Bouldin (jbouldin@AState.edu) or call 870-972-2570.

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