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Earth Month in full bloom at SOU

Earth Month in full swing at SOU

Earth Day – first observed nationwide in 1970 to tap an emerging environmental consciousness – has blossomed 51 years later into a full-blown Earth Month at SOU with a series of events, activities and programing throughout April for the campus community and beyond.

This year’s Earth Month observance, organized by the Student Sustainability Team and hosted by the Social Justice and Equity Center (contact at ecos.sou.edu), includes a slate of more than a dozen opportunities for SOU students, employees and others to participate. Choices range from the monthlong EcoChallenge to a Bike and Hike Week (April 26-30) to an Intersectional and Inclusive Environmentalism statewide panel discussion on Earth Day itself – April 22.

Earth Week at SOU will feature public events both virtual and live, and on and off the university campus.

EcoChallenge. Everyone in the SOU community is invited to join the SOU EcoChallenge Team: take the challenge and see how a few weeks of action can add up to a lifetime of change for you and the planet. The Earth Month EcoChallenge provides tools and inspiration to turn intention into action, and gives participants a fun and social way to think about and act on proven solutions to reverse climate change. Visit earthmonth.ecochallenge.org to learn more, set up your account and join the Sustainability at Southern Oregon University team! This is a fun and sustainable way to get involved in the SOU community while at home.

AIFF screening: “2040.” SOU students and employees are invited to attend a free virtual screening of the film “2040” as part of the Ashland Independent Film Festival. Director Damon Gameau, motivated by concerns about the planet his four-year-old daughter would inherit, embarked on a global journey to meet innovators and changemakers in the areas of economics, technology, civil society, agriculture, education and sustainability. Drawing on their expertise, he sought to identify the best currently available solutions to help improve the planet’s health and that of the societies that operate within it. SOU students, faculty and staff can register to receive a one-use screening voucher to view the film from home anytime on April 16 or 17. This registration form closes April 15, so please register in advance!

Story Circle. The Southern Oregon University Student Sustainability Team invites you to join Erica Ledesma and Raul Tovar from De La Raiz Project for a free online story circle on Wednesday, April 21, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. We will be gathering online to share our experiences of Our Place, Before and After. This virtual event is open to the public and folks both near and far are invited to join!

Intersectional and Inclusive Environmentalism. Student sustainability leaders from several Oregon colleges and universities invite you to this Earth Day keynote panel and Q&A on Zoom, featuring Summer Dean aka ClimateDiva & Madison Daisy aka ClimateDaisy.

EcoQuest Adventure. From Thursday, April 22 to Sunday, April 25, take part in activities at home and outdoors that are organized by local nonprofits, businesses and agencies that usually have exhibits at Rogue Valley Earth Day. You can sign-up and track activities in an online app (coming soon) — and be entered in a raffle to earn prizes! Check back soon at roguevalleyearthday.net/ecoquest for more information.

Food Pantry Bag Battle. Want to learn creative ways to cook meals based on items from the Student Food Pantry food bags? Join the live “Battle of the Food Pantry Bags” on Zoom, where students and faculty members will compete to create the best meals on a budget. Learn about the Food Pantry, hear stories from four contestants (faculty contestants include Leslie Eldridge and Dr. Jamie Trammel from the ESP program, competing against two surprise student contestants), and vote for what you think would be your favorite meal. All audience members will be entered into drawings for multiple “door prizes” – including gift cards to ShopNKart, Creekside Pizza and a CSA produce half-share from the Farm at SOU.

Bike and Hike Week. For the last week of Earth Month, the Student Sustainability Team invites you to participate in the Bike/Hike Week social media giveaway! How does it work? Simply take a picture of yourself riding your bike or going on a hike, tag us in the post or story, use the hashtag #BikeandHikeSOU, and make sure you are following @sou_studentsustainability on Instagram. Two winners each day will be picked at random to receive Dutch Bros gift cards, and contestants can enter every day! Not on Instagram or don’t have a public IG profile? Email your photo to ecos@sou.edu. Winners will be contacted by IG direct message (or email).

A Latino’s Conservation Journey. Erim Gómez will share how he has navigated college as a first-gen student and POC, and a career in conservation, all while struggling with learning disabilities. Gomez graduated from SOU with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies in 2007. He was a McNair Scholar at SOU and worked for ECOS, where he helped to establish SOU’s first Green Tag Fee to support campus sustainability initiatives. He went on to earn his doctorate in Natural Resource Sciences from Washington State University (2020) and is now assistant professor of wildlife biology at the University of Montana.

The Farm at SOU.

CSA. Sign up for the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, a mutually beneficial way for community members to support the university’s farm by investing in a share of crops at a reduced price. Members receive a weekly bag of in-season, pesticide-free produce throughout the growing season.

Volunteer Fridays. Join the Farm at SOU at 155 Walker St from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. every Friday to volunteer and learn more about sustainable agriculture.

Art submissions. The Farm is currently looking for art submissions to be displayed on-site. If you have an idea for a visual art piece that you could create, please submit it for consideration.

Farm Stand. Save the date – The Farm will offer the SOU community a farm stand stocked with high quality, pesticide-free fruits and vegetables every Thursday from 1 to 5 p.m., located at the corner of Siskiyou Boulevard and Wightman Street, from May 27 to October 7.

Earth Week with OSPIRG. SOU’s OSPIRG chapter is hosting a week’s worth of events to celebrate Earth Day. Check out their events and RSVP.

A full list of SOU Earth Week events can be found at https://sustainability.sou.edu/sou-earth-month-2021/.