MISSOULA ‒ The University of Montana and the Missoula community will celebrate progress toward sustainability with Earth Week events Saturday through Sunday, April 18-26.
Events kick off Saturday, April 18, with Earth Service Day and the Ecopentathalon. Service opportunities will include river cleanup, sorting recyclables at the UM recycling center and working in campus food gardens. Ecopentathalon participants work all the service events, riding their bikes to each one.
That evening, the public can enjoy the Earth Service Dance from 7:30 to 11 at Union Hall, 208 E. Main St. The dance will feature easy folk dances and old-time fiddle music by a local band. Members of the UM Folklore Society will teach the dances, and no experience or partner is needed. Entry costs $9, and all Earth Service Day volunteers get free admission.
Other Earth Week events include:
- Sunday, April 19: 1000 New Gardens, a UM student group that partners with the community to put food gardens in Missoula yards, will host Dig Day. Volunteers should meet at noon at Kiwanis Park to join a garden crew. Another Dig Day will be held Sunday, April 26. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Wednesday, April 22: UM will celebrate Earth Day with the Sustainability Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Oval. Student and community groups will teach about sustainability through fun activities. The celebration also will include cake, the Greening UM awards ceremony, and live music and dancing. The event is free and open to the public.
- Friday, April 24: Volunteer work day at the UM Forum for Living with Appropriate Technology (UM FLAT). Visitors can help with the urban gardens, chickens, compost, solar and rainwater harvesting systems and more at the University’s sustainable-living demonstration house at 633 Fifth St. E. The event will feature local food and live music.
- Sunday, April 26: The Missoula Urban Demonstration Project hosts its annual Earth Celebration in Caras Park. It will feature local food, beverages and music; children’s activities; displays by green businesses and nonprofits; and demonstrations and workshops showcasing sustainable living skills.
Other events throughout the week include garden tours, food-related workshops, films at the International Wildlife Film Festival and more. For a complete list of Earth Week events at UM, visit http://www.umt.edu/earthweekUM. A schedule of events in Missoula and western Montana also is online at http://www.umt.edu/earthweekmissoula.
On Earth Day 2002, former UM President George Dennison signed the Talloires Declaration, rededicating UM to promoting sustainable development, self-determination and social justice on local, state, national and global levels. UM was the first university in the northwest to sign the declaration, which commits universities to working for a sustainable society in their teaching, research, service/outreach and operations. Dennison appointed a Sustainable Campus Committee to encourage efforts by UM and campus groups to foster sustainability and to document those efforts in an annual State of the Sustainable Campus Report. These reports are available online at http://www.umt.edu/greeningum and highlight the efforts UM, campus groups and community partners made to build sustainability over the past year.
For more information call Vicki Watson, UM environmental studies professor, at 406-243-5153 or email email@example.com.