Virginia Tech celebrated Earth Week and Earth Day with a variety of events to encourage people to put a little green in their orange and maroon.
This was the third year Tech was named a Tree Campus USA college, making it the only university in Virginia to be recognized.
Tech received over 100 trees from Tree Campus USA to plant around campus. Tree Campus USA is a program launched by the Arbor Day Foundation to recognize college campuses across the country that effectively manage their campus trees and develop relationships with the community to foster healthy urban forests.
On Thursday afternoon students, faculty and community members gathered to plant trees behind Dietrick Dining Hall.
Participants in the forestry lab, as well as others, signed up to help plant trees — resulting in 72-person
turnout. The College of Natural Resources heavily advertised the event.
President Charles Steger addressed the crowd and pointed out the importance of Earth Week and continuing efforts to make Tech a sustainable campus.
“There is still work to be done,” he said. “And this is why we are here today.”
Steger also spoke about Tech’s commitment to being a leader in sustainability.
“Today’s planting will not only help the environment, but it will also add to the beauty of campus,” he said.
Doug Domenech, a Tech alumnus and Virginia’s current secretary of natural resources spoke about taking time to reflect during Earth Week.
“‘What is my impact on the Earth?” he asked. “’What can I do to increase sustainability?’”
Thursday’s theme was “think global, act local.” Larry Gibson, an advocate against mountain removal, spoke at a rally held on the
“He’s from the area, talking about the area,” said Rial Tombes, the Earth Week coordinator. “So he’s a great person to have.”
Coordinators were satisfied with the turnout last week. Tombes said having a website to advertise events was a big help in getting people interested.
“We were more organized this year,” Tombes said. “And we had a bigger effort to attract the whole school.”
Each day of the week was focused on a different area of sustainability.
Monday kicked off with a focus on sustainable food. Mark Winne, the author of “Closing the Food Gap,” spoke about community involvement and working toward a healthier food system.
Tuesday was geared toward alternative transportation. Bike safety checks were held on the Drillfield, and there was an alternative transportation scavenger hunt.
Earth Week concluded Friday with Earth Day and a festival. Despite the rain, many people came out to learn more about the Environmental Coalition at Tech.