Earth, Arbor Day celebrations start Friday

Michael McKay

All this week, environmental-themed celebrations have taken place at WKU with more planned for the next three days.

The main celebration for Earth Day starts Friday in the Downing University Center Courtyard and Centennial Mall from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The celebration will feature music, activities, booths and giveaways, according to the Office of Sustainability’s website.

Sara Ferguson, Recycling and Surplus Coordinator, said in an email the activity she’s most excited about is a bicycle-powered smoothie maker.

“We’ve been trying to get that for years,” she said.

Ferguson is the GreenToppers staff advisor and is coordinating the event. She said she’s been impressed to see how much the GreenTopper students have done with little direction from the advisors.

“They’ve been working really hard,” Ferguson said.

Saturday, WKU is partnering with the Bowling Green Tree Advisory Board for an Arbor Day celebration in Kereiakes Park.

The Arbor Day Foundation named WKU a Tree Campus USA for the second year in a row earlier this month.

The foundation requires an event observing Arbor Day before a city or campus can earn the recognition, according to the foundation’s website.

Bowling Green has been a Tree City USA for the last 18 years, City Arborist Jared Weaver said.

Weaver said the group will give out free tree seedlings for people to plant and will teach the public about planting and growing techniques.

Weaver said all the trees this year are native to Kentucky.

The event will also provide activities for children, including inflatables and a bucket ride, in which children will be taken up 30 feet above the ground, he said.

“We have a lot of things to keep the kids entertained while their parents or whoever brought them are educated,” Weaver said.

Landscape Architect Helen Siewers said in an email the department of Facilities Management is contributing small starter pots with quality soil to the event.

Another contribution is the bicycle rodeo the same day that has volunteers from the department of Parking and Transportation and the Big Red Bikes program, Siewers said.

The rodeo will also take place at Kereiakes.

“It is a nice event for children to learn and practice bike skills and safety,” Siewers said.

Sunday at 2 p.m., Elizabeth Forbes, a beekeeper in the area, will screen the documentary “Vanishing of the Bees” in Mass Media and Technology Hall Auditorium.

The film talks about Colony Collapse Disorder, where bees are “literally vanishing from their hives,” according to the film’s website.