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Celebrating Earth Day at Campbellsville University

By Aaron McKinley, student writer

As communities around the world celebrate Earth Day on Sunday, April 22, Campbellsville University will be kicking off her own week-long celebration honoring the world’s largest civic observance.

Festivities will begin at 2 that Sunday afternoon at Clay Hill Memorial Forest with an event themed after Dr. Seuss’s “The Lorax.” The highlight of the celebration comes on Monday, April 23 with an event at the Turner Log Cabin from 10 to 11 a.m.

A number of guests, including Campbellsville Mayor Tony Young and Eddie Rogers, Taylor County judge/executive will speak, followed by the announcement of the winners of the  Friend of Earth Stewardship Award. The  Friend of Earth Stewardship Award was created by Dr. John Chowning, executive assistant to the president for government, community and constituent relations.

Chowning took part in celebrating the first Earth Day in 1970 and has been an organizer for CU’s Earth Day celebrations for a number of years.

“Earth Day is an annual opportunity to once again remind people of all ages of the importance of being responsible stewards of that which God has given us,”  Chowning said.
In keeping with the idea of being good stewards of nature, Sigma Zeta, CU’s math and science club, will be sponsoring an aluminum collection drive to bring awareness to the importance of recycling.

The Howell Earth Stewardship Awards in honor of George Howell, donor for Clay Hill Memorial Forest (CHMF), will also be presented during the ceremony. There are two categories for this award including one for an individual student and the other to a particular club that promotes the concept of “Earth Stewardship.” These financial awards are provided by Howell.

Sigma Zeta will also be demonstrating how to make a reusable bag out of a used t-shirt to help reduce reliance on single-use plastic bags.

On top of these activities, the Earth Day celebration will also include planting a tulip poplar, sunflowers and milkweed with the help of local school children.

Amy Berry, environmental educator at Clay Hill Memorial Forest, said by involving young children she hopes to “empower them in knowing that even the smallest of green spaces can help our pollinators survive.”

Planting the tulip poplar has special significance as it is Kentucky’s state tree, Chowning said, and serves to remind the community of the importance of taking care of our environment.
Bringing even more awareness to Campbellsville’s ecosystem, a table displaying different reptiles and amphibians from Clay Hill Memorial Forest will also be part of the celebrations.

In addition to the more traditional Earth Day festivities, CU will also be hosting a celebration of William Shakespeare’s birthday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, April 23 on the second floor of Carter Hall.

The celebration titled “The Bard’s Birthday Bash” is a collaboration between the English, theater and mass communication departments to foster an appreciation for the famed author, as well as simply provide a place for students to have fun.

Festivities will include a photobooth, readings of portions of Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets and a “spin for your death” wheel, where students may spin a wheel that will land on one of a variety of colorful means of death taken from Shakespeare’s tragedies.

There will also be a special display of Shakespeare’s works in the library, should students want to look further into the celebrated literature.

Students are encouraged to come to eat and be a part of the celebration. For more information, contact Dr. Mary Jane Chaffee, professor of English.

Shakespeare’s birthday falls on April 23, the day after Earth Day and the same day as the highlight of CU’s Earth Day celebration, Chaffee said, so it seemed natural to celebrate them together.

The collaboration of different departments for the Earth Day activities does not end there, either. The Society of Professional Journalists is sponsoring a nature photography contest with cash prizes to winners. More information can be found at

Winters Dining Hall will be spreading awareness by being strawless  all week to allow us to reassess our habits, hosting Earth Week Trivia during lunch on April 25, and serving a special Spring overload lunch on April 26.

Other activities to be on the look out for are; hiking at Clay Hill on April 22, with rides from Stapp Hall leaving at 2 p.m., Earth Week festival on Stapp Lawn on April 26 at 4:30 p.m. and an overnight Red River Gorge Trip leaving on April 27.

Earth Day 2018 marks the 48th annual celebration worldwide and the 8th annual Earth Day celebration at CU, which officially began in 2010.

All events are open to all students, as well as all employees and serve to bring awareness to the community about the importance of being a good steward of the Earth by taking care of the environment.


Celebrating Earth Day at Campbellsville University