In-Person and Virtual Events Mark Earth Day This Year


The University of Virginia is marking Thursday’s Earth Day observance with a variety of celebrations, activities and events throughout the month, but particularly this week.

Thursday will feature a livestreamed international Earth Day program at noon focusing on climate action with activists, educators, researchers, musicians and artists. The four-hour event will feature panel discussions, films and musical performances. It can be accessed here.

In local activities on Thursday, a watershed clean-up of plastic pollution is planned along Meadow Creek and Pollock’s Branch, starting at 1 p.m., seeking to prevent plastic pollution from reaching the Chesapeake Bay. Volunteers will be required to sign COVID field guidelines, which include having a mask if working fewer than 6 feet apart, supplying hand sanitizer and confirming health insurance, as well as answering health screening questions. The event is sponsored by The Nature Conservancy and Charlottesville Parks. Further information is available by emailing

The Nature Conservancy will host a guided bird hike at the Ivy Creek Natural Area starting at 7:30 a.m. To register, visit here.  

Thursday also will feature a panel discussion at 2 p.m. on sustainable real estate design and consulting with UVA alumni, focusing on sustainable office spaces and employee and community health. The panel will be moderated by Sam Roberts, the general manager of Sky Club Design & Facilities, Delta Air Lines, and the panelists will include Bernard Harkless  of Lynx Ventures; Kate Rube of the International WELL Building Institute; and Tyrone Yang, principal design consultant of Architectural Health/Yang Architects. Participants are asked to register in advance here.

Thursday continues with a Zoom panel discussion at 3 p.m. on reducing carbon in the Virginia and global economies. Moderated by Larry Terry, executive director of UVA’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service and lecturer of public policy, the panel will include Bill Shobe, research director for the Cooper Center; Michael Lenox, senior associate dean at the Darden School of Business and chief strategy officer; and alumnus Andrés Gluski, president and chief executive officer of the AES Corporation. The discussions will focus on innovation, entrepreneurship and public service. Registrants will be sent a Zoom link. Presented by UVA Clubs and the Weldon Cooper Center, more information is available here.

On Friday, David Fedman, assistant professor of history at the University of California, Irvine, will speak in a Zoom webinar at 3 p.m. on “Beyond the Green Archipelago: Japan’s Empire of Forestry in Korea and Beyond.” To register for the event, sponsored by the UVA East Asia Center’s Spring Speaker Series, visit here.

Saturday will feature an all-day trash cleanup at Ragged Mountain Reservoir, followed by a free boat rental, sponsored by Intramural Recreation and UVA Sustainability. For information, visit here.

Video sharing is another way of celebrating Earth Day, according to Dana Schroeder, the outreach and engagement specialist at UVA’s Office for Sustainability. Crowd-sourced videos are available through Charlottesville-Area Green Neighbor Videos.

“This video collection features residents inspiring each other to adopt new sustainable practices, enabling neighbor-to-neighbor learning and forging community connections during an otherwise disconnected year,” Schroeder said.

Among the videos from people in the UVA community are: “How to Shop for LED Light Bulbs,” “How to Increase Fridge Efficiency,” “How to Respect Our Sewers,” “How to Be Green With a Little One” and “How to Compost with Worms.”

Media Contact

Matt Kelly

University News Associate Office of University Communications