Earth celebrations not limited to a single day
The annual observance of Earth Day happens on April 22. However at Skidmore, the celebration is not limited to just one day. Students interested in issues of environment and sustainability work year-round to raise awareness and often find themselves in the trenches on behalf of Mother Earth.
Earth Day Events all week
In celebration of Earth Day, the Skidmore
Sustainability Office invites the campus
community to several upcoming events.
Thursday, April 23:Tiny House Tour, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.,
located near Howe-Rounds and Tisch Learning Center
Karl Schnitzer, tiny house builder and owner,
will be on campus to offer tours of his newly constructed
tiny house. Visitors are welcomed to tour the home
and speak with Karl about the building process and
the practicality of tiny homes as a sustainable housing
solution. Come see if a tiny home could be for you!
Friday, April 24:Mushroom Growing Workshop, 4:30 p.m.,
Skidmore Community Garden
Scott Kellogg, educational director at the Radix Ecological
Sustainability Center, is offering a hands-on mushroom-growing
workshop at the Skidmore Community Garden. Attendees
will get a crash course in mushroom growing, and will help
inoculate logs and build the garden's first mushroom project.
Tuesday, April 28:Beats for Beets, 5 p.m.,
Skidmore Community Garden
Join the Skidmore Community Garden, Lively Lucy's and
SkidEats for the annual Beats for Beets fundraiser concert.
Tours of the garden will start around 5 p.m.,
music begins around 6 p.m. Muscial acts include Tim Lok Chan,
Izzy Howard and Amir Rivera, Iguana Mañana, and more. Local
food from 9 Miles East Farm,
Argyle Cheese Farmer, and SkidEats will be serving homemade
sweetbreads. Donations greatly appreciated!
More information about these events (and others) can be found
on our Facebook page!
Such was the case on April 19, during the inaugural Sustainable Service Day hosted by the Skidmore Sustainability Office S-Reps. More than 30 volunteers worked at five different sites on and off campus, according to Zia O’Neill ’17, the S-Rep in charge of sustainable education and outreach.
In the days leading up to the service day, O’Neill recruited volunteers to tackle the following assignments:
--Platoon Land Farm in Voorheesville, N.Y., a site for the Regional Food Bank, where they harvested rocks to open up new land for farming and learned about the farm’s role in the food bank’s service to community;
--Skidmore Community Garden, where parsnips were harvested, beds were prepared for future planting, and seeds of kale, lettuce, spinach, turnips, and parsnips were planted;
--Skidmore’s North Woods, where they cleaned up the area around the water tower, filled many trash bags with litter, and pulled 1,600 garlic mustard plants, an invasive species;
--Skidmore compost site, where they installed a 50-gallon rainwater catchment barrel and gutter system, turned the piles of compost, which will soon be ready for use in the Community Garden, and accomplished general cleanup;
--Wilton Wildlife Park and Preserve, where the work involved removing white pine saplings to preserve a medal habitat for the endangered Karner blue butterfly.
Feedback from participants indicates that the day was a worthwhile event. Margaret
Pfeffer ’15, who worked at the North Woods site, said, “I always find invasive species
removal satisfying because I feel like I’m making a difference in an ecosystem that
I can see right away. The North Woods are such a great resources for the Skidmore
and Saratoga communities and I really think it’s important to protect them.”
Julia Cavicchi ’18 who volunteered at the WWPP, said, “At Wilton Wildlife, we worked to preserve one of the Karner blue butterfly’s precious meadow habitats, by cutting down the ever-encroaching white pines and making space for lupine to grow. Working under mild spring sun, it felt viscerally important to preserve this miracle of a species, to make some change – however small – with my own hands in the land.”
And Julia Adelman ’17, a Skidmore Garden volunteer, called it “a great event and a great way to get people involved who are not typically involved! I signed up because I would like to become more involved in local sustainable food production in any way I can, and the Skidmore garden seemed like a good place to start.”
O’Neill said the day was designed with a goal of “giving back.” She was pleased with
the turnout and called the day a success. The S-Reps hoped that the focus on consumption
practices and how alternatives – such as production of food locally – can be sustainable.
“We wanted to show how to make a difference in a sustainable way,” she explained.
[Home page photo: Elsa Chen ’15 (left), Jenny White ’15, Maya Cohen ’7, Emily Davidson, Miranda Thopson ’17, Zia O'Neill ’17, Anne Pfeifenberger ’18. Gallery photos by Thuy Duong Tran Thi ’18, Chloe Silversmith ’17, Anna Sand ’16, Jonathan Strickler ’17]