College Hosts Inaugural Earth Fest

The college’s first Earth Fest celebrated sustainability, trees, and eco-friendly practices with music, education tables, and a free clothing giveaway.

Lawn games and food trucks lined the First-Year Quad for the first annual Earth Fest on Friday, April 26, the last day of Earth Week. The event was hosted by the Offices of Student Engagement & Leadership, Sustainability, and Residential Engagement & Wellbeing.

The event, styled after an outdoor market, also featured a free clothing giveaway, educational tables, and live music from performers Arcadia and Midnight Ramblers.

Organizers aimed to foster a space where students could come together to engage in activities around sustainability and learn more about eco-friendly practices.

“I do believe [Earth Fest] should be a tradition in which the students come together to celebrate the environment,” said Community Development Coordinator Philip Fennell, one of the event’s organizers. He hopes that Earth Fest will convince students to “continue practicing sustainability in their everyday lives, whether it be in their professions or at home.”

Kathy Glista, the statistics department coordinator, showcased one of her favorite hobbies: repurposing old wine glasses. Glista stains the glasses, then makes practical new objects out of the material, such as cheese boards.

Glista added that repurposing wine glasses also works as a stress reliever. “If you have a frustrating day, you just go downstairs and break glass,” she said.

Earth Fest took place during National Arbor Day. The college celebrated being a certified “Tree Campus,” as part of a program run by the Arbor Day Foundation. To meet the certification requirements, a group of environmental enthusiasts planted a red maple on the Valentine Quad.

Director of Sustainability Wes Dripps highlighted the importance of trees on a personal level. He said that trees are not only beneficial to the broader ecosystem, but to our well-being and mental health.

“Just being in the presence of trees and being able to watch them go through the seasons has so many great benefits,” Dripps said. “We think of ourselves as being here for four years, but some of these trees have been here since the origins of the college, which is just insane to think about.”