Earth Day Celebration on Campus Includes Ongoing Speaker Series, Screening of Oscar-Nominated Documentary, “The Garden”
California State University, Dominguez Hills will mark Earth Day with a daylong focus on the natural environment and campus and community efforts to protect it. The second annual Earth Day Celebration will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 22 in the Sculpture Garden on campus. The event is open to the public
“We started the Earth Day Celebration at CSUDH to foster community awareness of environmental issues and to highlight the university’s commitment to sustainability and environmental education,” said Cheryl McKnight, director of the Center for Service Learning, Internships and Civic Engagement. “If we can bring an awareness to staff, faculty, students and the surrounding community about making small changes, we can have an impact.”
The day’s events will include information booths, exhibits and demonstrations, as well as talks by professors and a performance by dancers with the Gardena-based Okinawa Association of America. The day will kick off with a blessing by Tongva spiritual leader Jimi Castillo at 10 a.m. McKnight said it was an appropriate start to Earth Day, given CSUDH sits on historic Tongva Nation land and the word “tongva” means “people of the earth.”
Among the exhibits at Earth Day 2009 will be a mobile interactive tide pool truck from the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific, a SeaMagine submersible craft used in underwater research, an exhibit on solarium fuel cells designed to power robotics, displays of hybrid and electric vehicles, bonsai demonstrations, and native plant displays.
Additionally, there will be informational booths featuring local environmental organizations, as well as sustainability initiatives at CSU Dominguez Hills, including campus recycling, campus rideshare, and use of green ware in campus dining, as well as academic programs such as the new master’s in environmental science and the Center for Urban Environmental Research. Among those community organizations exhibiting will be Friends of the Gardena Willows, Rancho Dominguez Adobe Museum, California Water Service Company, Southern California Edison, Torrance Transit, Sam’s Club and Costco.
Earth Day-related events started early this year with a four-part speakers series, “Nature and Culture in the Los Angeles Basin,” featuring local environmental scholars. The series hosted L.A. River expert Jenny Price on April 7; ethnobotonist Antonio Solorio talking about his research on home gardens in East L.A. on April 13; and CSU Northridge’s Dr. Shawna Dark discussing southern California’s wetlands on April 16. CSU Dominguez Hills anthropologist Dr. Ana Pitchon giving a talk about pier fishing risks in Los Angeles County during the April 22 event. Her talk will take place at noon on the Sculpture Garden main stage.
Earth Day events at CSUDH continue until Thursday, April 23, when the university hosts a screening of the Academy Award-nominated documentary “The Garden,” about a 14-acre community garden that rose from the ashes of the 1992 Los Angeles riots and the fight to try and save it from development. Director/writer Scott Hamilton Kennedy will introduce and talk about the making of the film. The screening will take place at 3 p.m. in the Claudia Hampton Hall in Welch Hall.
CSU Dominguez Hills seeks to be a regional leader in environmental education. The university currently offers a bachelor’s program in environmental studies and will begin a master’s program in environmental science in the fall semester. Also on campus is the Center for Environmental Research (CUER), an interdisciplinary center that coordinates urban environmental research and supports and expands the environmental activities at CSU Dominguez Hills, and Saving Our Unique Natural Diversity (SOUND), a program of CUER that works to protect and promote native plant and animal species of the South Bay region through a plant propagation facility on campus.
Earth Day 2009 Celebration is sponsored by the Center for Service Learning, Internships and Civic Engagement (SLICE), Honor’s Program, Associated Students, Inc., departments of anthropology, English and philosophy, the Sociology Club, Center for Urban Environmental Research, Saving Our Unique Natural Diversity (SOUND), Campus Dining, University Outreach, University Police, Loker Student Union, and the Division of Undergraduate Studies, and Friends of the Japanese Garden.
For more information on SLICE and Earth Day at CSU Dominguez Hills, click here.
- Amy Bentley-Smith
Photo above: Jose Robledo, recycling coordinator, Physical Plant, shows how one person can make a difference at Earth Day, 2008; photo by Cheryl McKnight