Sponsored by Grassroots, a park clean-up and an environmental awareness fair were held as live bands played in celebration of Earth Day on April 16.

“Our main goal was to help educate the campus about the environment and about issues relating to the environment, both on campus and off campus,” Grassroots Co-President and freshman Emily Reiss said. “We wanted it to be fun. This is a day to celebrate Earth.”

The clean-up along the banks of the Genesee River was organized to help students to get involved making an impact on their environment.

“We actually got more people than expected,” Grassroots member and freshman Kate Clingan said.

At noon, an information fair with booths from environmentally-oriented organizations from the campus and Rochester community was opened in front of Wilson Commons.

“We were fortunate that it was such a beautiful day,” freshman John Ray said. “It was very gracious of Grassroots to provide information on local environmental groups, and of course to provide free food for everyone. It was fun to find out about local environment activities.”

The event was aimed at educating the community about the environment.”With such a wide range of groups participating, and with issues ranging from supporting green energy to saving the Ecuadorian rainforest, people were guaranteed to learn about a topic they had never realized was an issue facing our generation,” Grassroots member and freshman Jennifer Karatzas said. “If nothing else, people learned that environmental problems aren’t something that only exist in the rest of the world but are something that can be seen every day right where we live.”

The event was appreciated by students. “I was impressed that so many people were out there,” sophomore Mike Iannotti said. “Looks like they put a lot of effort into it.”

Earth Day is one of Grassroots’ biggest events. The group uses the day as an opportunity to highlight the efforts they have been undertaking all year.

“Grassroots is also working with the administration to create a Sustainability Policy for the university,” Reiss said. “We are continually working to improve recycling on campus. We are also starting up a program of recycled paper notebooks. We want people to be aware of the issues.”

Grassroots found the event to be very popular and was encouraged by the interest from the student body.

“We had excellent attendance,” Clingan said. “There was a constant flow of students to the tables. We sold out of Earth Day T-shirts and lots of people entered the raffle.”

Bruml can be reached at abruml@campustimes.org.



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