UD Community Celebrates Earth Day with EarthFest

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Melody Conrad & Lizzie Elward
Assistant A&E Editor/Contributing Writer

 The University of Dayton Sustainability Club offered an accessible and active way to celebrate Earth Day on Sunday at EarthFest.

EarthFest is an annual celebration hosted by the Sustainability Club in conjunction with Outdoor Adventure Club, Student Government Association, Re-Volv and ETHOS.

The event took place at Old River Park, about one mile from the university.

The event had multiple activities for attendees to participate in or watch. Free biking, kayaking, ziplining, fishing and yoga were offered, along with live music in the park.

The performers included Nick Schleuter, Kevin Shanahan, Caleb Baron, Jessica Bullock, Christian Ray, Patrick Burnauer and Matt Vajdic, most of whom were UD students.

In addition, EarthFest’s feature event, “Chopped,” was a friendly competition involving teams of four creating a vegetarian meal in one hour. First place won a free meal for the team at Old Scratch Pizza and second place received camping essentials.

Aside from the competition, the community also was encouraged to exercise their creative side with tie-dye, face paint and through the purchase of works by local artisans.

The event was made to encourage students to have meaningful conversations about the current state of our environment and sustainable practices they can adopt. Discussions about introducing composting bins in residence halls and putting solar panels on newly constructed housing could be heard throughout the park.

There were tables stationed around the park with different organizations and initiatives for students and the community to learn about. The tables included the Vegetarian club, an informational composting station and solar panel advocates.

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“It’s just cool to see all the students and community members come out here and have an awesome time,” said volunteer Jared Marsh. “The event is helping to empower people and get the whole community involved and not have it be just a few select students.”

Along with the various activities and entertainment, attendees also were exposed to Old River Park, part of UD’s river campus.

“This is a really cool event,” said junior Heather May.“I have been able to fish in the river, and tie-dye a shirt, and appreciate a part of campus I usually don’t see.”

Photos courtesy of Melody Conrad and Lizzie Elward.