Celebrate Earth Week with UM, Community Events April 19-27

April 14, 2014

MISSOULA – The University of Montana invites the public to participate in annual Earth Week activities Saturday through Sunday, April 19-27, on campus and around the community.

Earth Week kicks off April 19 with Earth Service Day and the Ecopentathalon. Service opportunities include river cleanup, prairie restoration on Mount Sentinel, sorting recyclables at UM’s Recycling Shed, stenciling storm drains at UM, and repairing bikes at Free Cycles. The river cleanup is coordinated by the Clark Fork Coalition.

“In the Ecopentathalon, Ecopentathletes ride their bikes from event to event and volunteer at all the service activities,” said organizer Vicki Watson, a professor in UM’s Environmental Studies Program. Visit http://www.umt.edu/earthday for times and locations of the service projects.

April 19 also is Dig Day for 1,000 New Gardens, a UM student group that partners with the community to put food gardens into Missoula yards. Participants will meet at noon at Kiwanis Park to join a garden crew.

After a hard day working for the Earth, participants are invited enjoy the Earth Service Day Dance from 7:30 to 11 p.m. at the Union Hall, located at 208 E. Main St. The event features easy folk dances and old-time fiddle music by a local band. All the dances are taught, and no experience or partner is needed. Earth Service Day workers and children age 15 or younger get in free, or admission costs $9 for the general public and $6 for students.

Earth Day is Tuesday, April 22, and will be celebrated with a Sustainability Fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the University Center. Following the fair, Reinvest MT will hold a gathering on the UM Oval to build support for switching from fossil fuel to clean, green energy sources. The event is free and open to the public.

Other activities are planned throughout the week, including a barbecue at the UM Forum for Living with Appropriate Technology, tours and workshops in the UM Dining Campus Garden, more service projects and the Missoula Urban Demonstration Project’s annual Earth Celebration in Caras Park.

A full schedule of events is available online at http://www.umt.edu/earthday. For more information call Watson at 406-243-5153 or email vicki.watson@umontana.edu.

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Contact: Vicki Watson, UM environmental studies professor, 406-243-5153, vicki.watson@umontana.edu.