UNC Charlotte has already begun celebrating Earth Day 2022, officially on April 22, with many different events.
“UNC Charlotte does not pay too close attention to celebrating the exact month of Earth Month in April as we celebrate starting in mid-March and end in mid-April,” said Mike Lizotte, University sustainability officer.
UNC Charlotte began its celebration on March 21 with the Sustainability Office’s tree planting event. The event took place at 9 a.m. near the C.O.R.E. outdoor fitness center.
Volunteers planted trees provided by the Grounds Department and Trees Charlotte, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to planting trees. Volunteers also received instructions from expert arborists and Tree Masters from Trees Charlotte.
The next event hosted by the Sustainability Office was the campus cleanup on March 30. Students met at two points on campus, the McMillan Greenhouse and the Motorsports Research building, to collect litter on paths that diverge from the routes of the University’s groundskeepers.
The final event, Student Garden Day, took place on April 1. Students focused on the gardens behind the Jamil Niner Student Pantry, the beds near Robinson hall and the pollinator bed near the McEniry building.
This event began as a result of COVID-19 and finding alternate outside activities, according to Lizotte.
UNC Charlotte’s Earth Club participated in this event by building raised beds, weeding existing beds and learning how to care for the plants. These three events take place annually and each semester.
Other events that occurred during the celebration of Earth Month include Tree Care and Repair, 49ers for life Blood Drive and “The Lorax” Movie Night.
The Earth Club hosted “The Lorax” Movie Night in the Student Union Movie Theater, and a bamboo-planting tutorial followed it.
UNC Charlotte utilizes an alternate schedule rather than operating solely in April to avoid hot weather that could harm plants and allow people to participate in other activities in Charlotte closer to April 22.
However, Earth Month can keep being celebrated at the Spring Plant Sale near the Botanical Gardens from April 7-9. The sale will operate on both days between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
On Earth Day, April 22, Jenny Sabin, an architectural designer, will be speaking at the School of Architecture’s 50th Anniversary celebration regarding sustainability and building designs. In addition, Sabin looks closely at how science and architecture interact with one another. This event is open to all students and will take place from 2-3 p.m.
April 23 will mark a Charlotte Earth Day Celebration located in Uptown near the Dubois Center at the First Ward Park. The theme of this year’s celebration is interconnectivity, and the mission is environmental awareness. The celebration will have a variety of performers, entertainers, musicians, and interactive and exhibitor vendors such as Trees Charlotte and Tesla. The day will open with a parade at 9:30 a.m. and concludes after closing announcements at 3 p.m.
Also, on April 23, will be NC Scifest hosted by the Morehead Planetarium Science Center. This event will provide both indoor and outdoor activities for all ages. Community partners will lead different activities ranging from hiking to planting. The event will take place at Discovery Place Nature from 9:30 to 4:30 p.m.
April 27, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., will be the Earth Day celebration at the Charlotte Museum of History. The museum will discuss topics throughout the exhibits, such as naturalism, conservation and the history of Earth Days.
Lizotte explained that this year’s Earth Month Celebration is smaller than other years, such as 2019, where there was a Science Fair with around 50 tables and 1000 participants.
Lizotte hopes that the Earth Month celebration will “see an agenda with 10 to 20 events” in the future.
“A single day in 1970 is big, but 50 years later, it is clear environmental awareness, and the roles it plays in our life are going to be based on how we pay attention to the environment,” said Lizotte.