Campus & Community

Earth Day celebration at PBSC in Palm Beach Gardens April 15-16

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The artwork for the Earth Day celebration was created by Gabriella Baro who won the student poster design competition last year.

Palm Beach State College at Palm Beach Gardens will celebrate the Earth and all of its goodness April 15-16 with speakers, a night of stargazing and an outdoor festival featuring more than 20 vendors and exhibits showcasing and promoting green living, healthy eating and eco-friendly initiatives.

The Earth Day celebration kicks off April 15 with “Earth Talks” featuring local experts who will present on such topics as urban gardening and using permaculture and vermiculture for organic gardening. Algeponics, a Vermont-based company, will discuss its use of algae to create fuel and enzymes. The Green Veterans group affiliated with the South Florida Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council will share how the organization has helped veterans returning to civilian life get education and training needed for green jobs. The 30-minute to 1-hour presentations begin at 9:30 a.m. and continue until 3 p.m. in the Meldon Lecture Hall, 3160 PGA Blvd.

The Earth Day activities will continue from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 16 with a festival at the campus amphitheater. It will include food, music and giveaways. Among the vendors are Florida Power & Light, which will showcase its fleet of electric vehicles, Bush Wildlife Sanctuary, Florida Native Plant Society, Loggerhead Marinelife Center, Grassy Waters Preserve, and other eco-friendly businesses and organizations. Later that day, from 7:30 to 10 p.m., the South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association will be on hand for star gazing at the baseball field behind the BioScience Technology Complex. All events are free and open to the public.

The campus sustainability committee, which organizes the event, says the goal is to show appreciation for the planet and increase awareness of issues related to the sustainability of the environment. The campus held its first celebration in 2010, the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, which is officially celebrated April 22.

“We want to enlighten our students on taking care of the Earth and its resources. We get only one ticket on this merry-go-round that we ride throughout space. We have to take care of it,’’ said Patricia Castro, event co-chair.

“We just want to make sure that our students are educated and aware,’’ added Marjorie Simon, a math learning specialist who initially proposed the idea.

One key element is showcasing how everything is connected. “You will see all kinds of variety,’’ said Dr. Jay Matteson, director of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Sustainability and event co-chair. “It’s a variety of technology that clearly demonstrates the integral relationship between energy, environment and the economy.”

For more details about the Earth Day celebration and a list of the vendors, visit www.palmbeachstate.edu/events/Earth-Day.

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