By Ariel C. Emberton, staff writer/photographer, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Campbellsville University and the Campbellsville community held an Earth Day celebration April 22 at the Turner Log Cabin on Campbellsville University’s campus.
Cathryn Jones, a senior of Danville, Ky. and Student Government Association (SGA) president, welcomed everyone to the ceremony and read from Psalms 96:11-12: “Let the heavens rejoice, let the Earth be glad, let the sea resound and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant and everything in them. Let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.”
Dr. John Chowning, executive assistant to the president for government, community and constituent relations, reminisced on the first Earth Day event held in 1970.
“Today, I would like to invoke the spirit of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day as well as the 51st. Over the last 51 years, there has been a growth of heightened importance of the Earth and the call of humanity to be good stewards of the Earth.”
Dr. H. Keith Spears, interim vice president of Campbellsville University, said he was teaching biology in 1970 and had once aspired of being a forest ranger. “Earth Day is about not only planting seeds but ideas that will go forward. We all live on this Earth, and we all want to preserve it but we want to live on this Earth in a way we want to enjoy. You want to live on an Earth that will help your children and grandchildren prosper.
Brenda Allen, mayor of Campbellsville, presented Spears and Jones with the proclamation declaring April 22 Earth Day in Taylor County. “I am so proud the city and university can work together on so many different things,” she said.
During the celebration, Zoe Scott, a freshman of Glasgow, Ky. studying environmental science, gave an update about Clay Hill Memorial Forest. Scott began working at Clay Hill during the fall semester and it led to her becoming more passionate about environmental science.
Scott hikes and helps to document spring wildflowers, starts seedlings and cares for the animals. “I feel like Clay Hill has jump-started my career. I get to work there during the summer because I am a recipient of the George Howell scholarship,” she said.
Spears also announced George Howell has donated a gift to the university, and it will help with the construction of an environmental instruction facility at Clay Hill.
Madison Meyer, a senior of Erie, Colo., serves as president of Sigma Zeta and Green Minds Club. She said Green Minds Club is open to everyone across campus and the community and they host sustainability seminars. “We want to equip people with the ability and knowledge to lessen their carbon emission,” she said.
Jones and Chowning recognized Kentucky Utilities (KU) for being supportive of the university’s Earth practices and have provided the university with a tree grant for several years, including this year.
Chowning and Amy Berry, environmental educator and instructor in environmental science, presented the George Howell Award to its recipients.
The first faculty winner was Dr. Robin Magruder, associate professor of education. She will be providing training and materials for students who are going to be environmental educators.
The second faculty winner was Azucena Trejo Williams, assistant professor of art and design. She worked alongside Taylor County Elementary School to collect bottle caps to be turned into benches. The group ended up collecting enough to have three benches made.
Serena Corbin, a senior of Columbia, Ky., and Whitley Howlett, a senior of Louisville, Ky., were both winners with their multimedia art pieces.
The Friend of Earth Stewardship Award was given to Trent Creason, director of student activities. Creason is known for hiking with his family, organized the Earth Day celebration and takes care of the Earth in an Earth stewardship way, according to Chowning.
The Earth Day celebration video and be found https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8tOUan_–E.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 13,500 students offering over 100 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.