University of Virginia to Honor Earth Week April 15-23

April 9, 2010 — The University of Virginia is expanding Earth Day, celebrated nationwide on April 22, to a weeklong series of events, activities and contests.

The week, which will be celebrated across Grounds, will open with a poetry reading on April 15 and conclude with an educational panel on water on April 23.

Activities will include a transportation fair, bicycle day festival, eco-market, energy day, canoe trip,  eco-fair, Earth Day cookout, a mock Copenhagen climate conference, an activism resource fair, green initiative funding information session, student sustainability project competition, panel discussions and concert.

"We are excited with the array of topics and events for this year's Earth Week," said Armando J. deLeon, sustainability programs manager for Facilities Management's energy and utilities department. "During the last few years we have been doing many activities that center around Earth Day, but this year, the students have been able to coordinate these into a spectacular weeklong celebration."

Among the many highlights of the week will be the release of the U.Va. Chesapeake Bay Game. Azure Worldwide, co-founded by Philippe Cousteau, has partnered with the University on an interactive game that simulates the conditions of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, with players taking the roles of people who live in the watershed and make their livelihoods from the resources of the Bay. For more information on the Bay Game, visit here.

Each day of Earth Week will carry a theme, including giving back, outdoor activities, energy, academics, travel and transportation, and food, with some of that day's activities geared to the theme. To celebrate outdoor activities, as an example, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation will be offering a canoe trip on the Rivanna River.

The many educational opportunities will include panel discussions, films, demonstrations and competitions, such as the Student Sustainability Project, in which students offer their plans for a greener future.

Earth Week activities are being organized by U.Va. students, faculty and staff and are open to the public. For a complete schedule of Earth Week events, visit here.

— By Matt Kelly