What color does the spring season make you think of? For the Reinhardt community it's all about green, and this spring, the first Spring Into Green campaign will be launched. A month-long series of events and activities, Spring Into Green was created by RC Green, the College's sustainability committee, in the effort to promote "going green" and increase environmental awareness on campus.
Environmental Awareness "The goal for this campaign is to increase an awareness of sustainability among the Reinhardt community," said Briana Moody, a senior from Grovetown, Ga. and president of the College's Student Government Association (SGA). "It's my hope that through understanding and knowledge, we all can begin to make choices that will lead to a cultural change to preserve the environment and begin healthier lifestyles."
Catherine Cox, a sophomore from Dalton, Ga. and executive board member of the SGA, added to Moody's sentiments. "I hope that through Spring Into Green people on campus will become more aware of how their actions effect our environment and will then lead to our campus being even more environmentally friendly than we already strive to be."
Tentative Schedule of Events:
Tues., March 16:
Dumpster Day, 2- 5 p.m., Hasty Lawn - a swap meet of items you don't want anymore. Leftovers go to MUST Ministries.
Earth Day Fair, 11 a.m.- 1 p.m., Hasty Lawn (weather permitting); plant sale, clean water campaign, art contest entries due at noon.
Campaign Kick Off March 23 Events for the campaign officially begin on March 23 with the Spring Into Green Kickoff Concert from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. on the Hasty Student Life Center lawn. Student singers and band members will present green propaganda through spoken word and song. Also on this day, the Gordy Dining Center will host its first "No Tray Day." Diners will only have the option to carry food to the dining table by hand, not by tray as they usually do. The intent of tray-less dining is to bring recognition to eating healthier and reducing food waste.
"Turn the Lights Out!" On March 28, students who live on campus will participate in Earth Hour from 8:30- 9:30 p.m. This event, which spans the entire country, encourages participants to turn off all lights in their homes and offices to conserve energy for at least one hour.
Planting New Opportunities The campaign continues into April with a Scavenger Hunt and a Chestnut Tree Seedling Planting. The Scavenger Hunt, an all-day event on April 1, will take participants on an adventure across campus to find and photograph "green" efforts, as well as "green" violations. Winners will be selected based on photographs taken. On April 2, the Reinhardt community will have the opportunity to plant a small orchard of American Chestnut Tree seedlings, which will be located adjacent to the Fincher Visual Arts Center. Reinhardt was specially selected to grow a hybrid of this endangered tree species.
"The Chestnut Tree Planting is my favorite event planned for Spring Into Green because this species of tree is almost extinct and planting the seedlings will give the species a chance to be the spectacular American Chestnut it once was," said Becky Cavender (left, holding seedlings), coordinator of student activities. "I've only seen one chestnut tree in the wild, and I would love to see more of these trees in our forests for everyone to enjoy."
Eggcellent Events What creativity will "hatch" from Reinhardt students at the Birdhouse Painting and Easter Egg Hunt events? On April 6 in the Bannister Glasshouse, students will have the opportunity to design and paint birdhouses that can become a part of their home's landscape to protect spring's newest arrivals. The Easter Egg Hunt on April 8 will be an excellent chance for students to have fun, all while appreciating the College's preserved nature areas.
Giving Back to the Community During the week of April 13, the Reinhardt community will give back to the local community through a service project with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
"Sustainability is not only about the environment, but it is also about the people who live in the environment," said Moody. "This service project will allow the Reinhardt community to help our current, as well as future generations, by providing help to our neighbors and understanding each person can make a difference."
Green Knowledge A Sidewalk Chalk Drawing Contest on April 20 will test students knowledge of what "going green" really means. Each participant will draw a picture relating to environmental sustainability based on their research and knowledge about green initiatives.
Earth Day Events The Spring Into Green campaign will wrap up on April 22 with numerous Earth Day activities from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. in front of the Hasty Student Life Center. Dennis Holt, a retired teacher and member of the Carroll County Master Gardeners, will have information on and demonstrations of rain barrels to show the importance of their use during the drought season. He will also have forms available to order a custom rain barrel, which he will construct and deliver. Information from the Clean Water Campaign will be on hand to answer questions about conserving and protecting our waters. At noon on this day, the Recycled Art Contest entries will be available for viewing and voting on. The winning art piece will be selected based on design and use of recycled objects.
Zach White, Reinhardt horticulturist, and volunteers from the Cherokee County Master Gardeners will host a plant sale beginning on Earth Day and until April 24 from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. each day in front of the Hasty Student Life Center. Various varieties of annuals, perennials, vegetables and trees will be available for purchase, and 100 percent of the proceeds will to go benefit the restoration of Reinhardt's Burgess Arboretum.
The Reinhardt community can bear the fruits of their "going green" labor at a cherry tree planting at 2 p.m., which will conclude Earth Day activities and the Spring Into Green campaign.
A Green Thumbs-Up "I feel truly honored to attend a college that makes environmental sustainability an important issue," said Moody. "Spring Into Green is just one of the many ways that the Reinhardt community will be able to get involved in the College's efforts of "going green."