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Reinhardt College is "Going Green" for Earth Day and Every Day

Funk landscaping
Dr. Joseph Kitchens, executive director of the Funk Heritage Center, and Martha Hout, program coordinator and public relations for the Funk, stand in a rain garden that was created as part of the Xeriscape at the Center.
What does it mean to "go green?" Reinhardt College is taking action to "go green" on Earth Day and every day by contributing to Cherokee County's recycling of more than 1200 tons of paper each year, and educating the College community about taking care of the environment.

"It's important for the College to help educate its students about protecting the earth's natural resources," said John Young, executive director of physical plant. "Earth Day is a way for the College to promote what we are doing, not just on this day but throughout the year, to help protect the environment."

Recycling More Than 1200 Tons of Paper

The Reinhardt Recycles program was one of the College's first steps in "going green." Reinhardt partnered with the Cherokee County Recycling Center in February 2005 to develop a paper and cardboard recycling program at the College -- Reinhardt Recycles. Mary Laing, Reinhardt's support services coordinator, spearheaded the project and currently chairs the program. "Recycling is not just something we want to do; it is something we need to do," Laing said. "We have more than 20 bins for paper recycling and a 16ft trailer for cardboard recycling. The program has been very successful in its three years, and we have increased our efforts to include donating our shredded paper to the Cherokee County Animal Shelter for their use as bedding for the animals."

The College was commended by the Cherokee County Government in spring 2006 on its recycling efforts. "Reinhardt College is a shining example to the community of how great things can happen when dedicated people work together to help protect the earth," said Stan Hall, former environmental coordinator for the County. In 2006, Cherokee County recycled more than 1200 tons of paper which resulted in saving 31,425 trees, 5,028,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity, and 8,799,000 gallons of water.

Xeriscaping to Educate the Community

The Funk Heritage Center at Reinhardt is encouraging the community to learn about water conservation. The Xeriscape at the Funk Center is being developed as an outside learning environment that shows landscapers, gardeners and the community how to create a landscape that is drought-resistant and requires little watering.

"We share a common commitment with the Upper Etowah River Alliance to provide educational opportunities for children and adults to learn about water conservation and how to address water-related environmental concerns," said Dr. Joseph Kitchens, executive director of the Funk Heritage Center. "Our landscape, when completed, will include native plants and systems to filter and retain water on site. Last year's drought influenced our decision to make dry-conditions gardening the focus of our gardening seminar this year."

The community is invited to attend Gardening in Northwest Georgia, a seminar that will provide solutions for dealing with the drought and will feature the Xeriscape, on April 26 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Funk Heritage Center. Visit for more information. Registration is not required and seating is limited.

"At Reinhardt, we celebrate Earth Day every day," said Zach White, Reinhardt's horticulturist. "Dr. James R. Burgess, Jr. [Reinhardt's President from 1944-73] said that we should strive every day to make Reinhardt a better place when we leave the campus than when we arrived. I believe that we are accomplishing this and more as we seek to better the Reinhardt campus by educating our community and investing our time to protect the environment."

Reinhardt's Earth Day Events

Earth Day is April 22, and the Reinhardt community is hosting a full day of events to educate students, faculty and staff about protecting the environment and "going green."

Reinhardt's Earth Day events include:

 From 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

From 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

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