Dublin enjoyed an enriching, beautiful, and active Earth Day on Thursday. Because of today’s rainy forecast, the campus celebrated early, beginning with a film presented by Ms. Clark’s Global Foods course and campus-wide stargazing on Wednesday night. After stargazing, students returned to dorms and the start of our Energy Fast, during which dorms’ power sources were turned off. The brief energy fast provided a model of a little bit of renunciation “to help us all see that different habits using less electricity are in fact possible and that we can lower our carbon footprint as a community,” in Academic Dean Ms. Doenmez’s words. “We hope this might inspire students to consider other changes they might make in their consumption patterns.”
On Thursday, camping trip groups from September reunited and embarked on hikes throughout campus! As Ms. Doenmez describes, groups encountered “stations whose purpose [was] to highlight a feature of our Dublin ecology or raise awareness about environmental and green issues on campus. Each group [was] given a map with a route and timetable so we stagger the visits at stations. Simultaneously, groups took on the challenge of an environmental scavenger hunt.”
This year’s Earth Day plans were generated by Katie Curtis, Stephanie Clark, Simon McFall, Henry Walters, and Sarah Doenmez with much help and many suggestions by the entire faculty. “The goals were to focus on our own campus, partly because many of us have not yet experienced a lot of the Dublin campus, and partly because we wanted to avoid consuming fossil fuels by driving buses,” explains Doenmez. “There is much to learn and experience about our efforts to green our campus and much to explore in our woods.”
In advance of the activities, teachers read two chapters of “Reading the Forested Landscape” by Tom Wessels in preparation for some hours in the forest, received campus wildlife packets, and photo scavenger hunt material.
Earth Day at Dublin has always had a few complementary purposes:
-to foster students’ connections to our environment
-to promote knowledge of our natural environment
-to foster a desire to care for and steward our environment by service projects
-to help students develop awareness of the impact of their own lifestyles and daily choices on the Earth
-To educate our community about climate change and other environmental challenges facing our Earth
After a beautiful, bright day of exploring the Perimeter Trail, finding bugs and snakes, noticing and deciphering animal tracks, learning about geology at the top of Eagle Rock with Ms. Curtis, writing and reading poetry in the Yurt with Mr. Alexander Scalfano, learning from Dr. Joanna Smith while she demonstrated electrolysis to separate hydrogen, and enjoying a hike with camping trip groups, we can say that Earth Day 2016 was a successful adventure.