Fort Hays State to celebrate Earth Day with bees, yoga & a Victor E. Garden

A full day of informative and entertaining presentations and activities to celebrate Earth Day — Wednesday, April 22 — at Fort Hays State University will culminate with a groundbreaking ceremony for the Victor E. Garden’s new location in the pit area east of the Robbins Center.

FHSU President Mirta M. Martin will help dig the first bed in the new garden.

The Earth Day celebration, sponsored by FHSU Sustainability, will feature activities and presentations that will provide an opportunity for the campus and wider community to celebrate the bounty of the earth and learn how to participate effectively in the stewardship of its resources.

One major highlight, beginning at 10 a.m. on the Quad, will be the construction of the “Earth Peace Mandala,” a circle installation of organic materials drawing from many cultures and traditions to create awareness of, and to honor, biological and cultural diversity and sustainability.

“Sustainability is only possible on a peaceful planet,” said Andree Brisson, FHSU Sustainability coordinator.

“On April 22, 2015, FHSU will commemorate Earth Day on its 45th anniversary,” she continued. “It is my hope to see students, faculty and staff celebrating our culturally rich and biodiverse planet. While celebrating, I want us to consider what unites us — Earth citizenry — rather than what divides us. Together, we will engage, unify and rally for a peaceful and sustainable Earth.”

The Victor E. Garden was first planted in 2011 as a service learning project by students in a politics and food class taught by Shala Mills, professor and chair of the Department of Political Science. It has been tended by student volunteers. The garden’s original site was by the marching band practice field behind the President’s House.

The new location in the northwest corner of the Robbins Center pit area will be an area of about 50 feet by 50 feet with 32 raised garden beds, said Mills. Next to it will be a garden shed and hoop house. The groundbreaking will begin at 5 p.m., with planting to begin immediately after the ceremony.

The schedule

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Quad:

“Honeybees,” presented by Greg Swob, local beekeeper.

• “Vegetarians & Vegans,” presented by Marleah Augustine, Hays Public Library.

• “Students with Sustainable Ideas,” a presentation on global overpopulation.

• A presentation from the FHSU Food and Hunger initiative.

“Water Conservation,” a presentation by a global challenges class taught by Dr. Shala Mills, professor and chair of the Department of Political Science.

• “Water and Health,” a presentation created by a chemistry class taught by Dr. Kristina Bencze, assistant professor of chemistry.

• “Soil Conservation,” presented by a soils class taught by Dr. Jean Gleichsner, associate professor of agriculture.

• “Earth Peace Mandala,” a joint presentation of FHSU Sustainability, the Division of Student Affairs, Residential Life, and the Tilford Diversity Awareness Committee.

• “Dairy Production and Sustainability,” a presentation by Dr. Brittany Howell, associate professor of agriculture.

• “Trees,” a presentation by Bryan Peterson, Northwest District Forester for the Kansas Forest Service.

“Sustainability Certificates and ‘Tree Hugger’ Photos,” a presentation by FHSU Sustainability.

“Earth Affirmations,” presented by an art class taught by Linda Ganstrom, professor of art and design.

• “Trash in the Trees,” presented by a class on global environmental issues, taught by Dr. Elmer Finck, professor of biological sciences.

• A presentation by the FHSU Biology Club.

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Memorial Union Patio:

Plantings of purple flowers, sponsored by the university’s Global Leadership Project, the Women’s Leadership Project, Tigers In Service and Jana’s Campaign to both add beauty to the world and raise awareness for sexual assault month. The flowers will be donated to the local women’s shelter.

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Robbins Center:

“Awareness Day” complimentary lunch for students and scholarship drawings will promote philanthropic awareness beyond FHSU.

Noon to 1 p.m. on the Quad:

Yoga by Awaken Yoga Fitness, Hays.

Noon to 1 p.m. in front of Tomanek Hall:

Planting of low-water-use flowers around the Dr. John Heinrichs memorial tree.

1:30-3:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Lobby:

The Center for Student Involvement presents “Diversitea,” a celebration of Asian Pacific Islander heritage.

5 p.m. in the pit area east of the Robbins Center:

Victor E. Garden groundbreaking ceremony and planting activities.

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