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University's 10th Annual Green Week Begins April 17

UM Landscape Services and students celebrate Arbor Day with a hands-on tree planting ceremony in the Grove during Green Week 2017. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications
The University of Mississippi will host its 10th Annual Green Week April 17-22 with a series of events designed for students, faculty and staff and community members.
The week is filled with programming to raise awareness about the importance of resource stewardship and includes events ranging from the annual Sustainability Fair to a transportation-related lunch-and-learn.
“Green Week is an opportunity for our university and the Oxford community to come together and celebrate our relationship with the natural environment,” said Kendall McDonald, project manager for the UM Office of Sustainability. “I think the most fundamental first step to fostering a healthy, sustainable world is to be curious and learn, and this year’s Green Week is full of opportunities to do so.”
The events kick off Tuesday (April 17) with a lunch-and-learn on “UM Master: Planning for a Pedestrian-Friendly Campus,” featuring Ian Banner, university architect and director of sustainability and facilities planning, and Mike Harris, the UM parking and transportation director. They will discuss the updated campus master plan as it relates to transportation and mobility.
Green Week culminates April 22, which is Earth Day, when award-winning poet and essayist Camille Dungy will deliver the 2018 Earth Day keynote address. The event, at 7 p.m. in the Overby Center Auditorium, is free and open to the public.
Dungy is editor of “Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry” (2009, University of Georgia Press), the first anthology dedicated to nature writing by African-American poets. Other works by Dungy include “Guidebook to Relative Strangers” (2017: W.W. Norton), a collection of personal essays that explores the complicated relationships between history, race and landscape.
Interactive events include the annual Sustainability Fair on Wednesday and the 2018 Arbor Day celebration on Thursday, during which attendees can participate in a hands-on tree planting in the Grove, hosted in collaboration with the Department of Landscape Services and the Strawberry Plains Audubon Center. Champion catalpa tree seedlings will be available while supplies last.
“Part of the mission of Green Week is to educate and empower, and we think that this year’s programming accomplishes that goal,” said Lindsey Abernathy, UM associate director of sustainability. “There are events for those interested in learning a little more about sustainability, as well as opportunities to explore topics more in depth, through events like the lunch-and-learn event and the keynote address.”
Community and campus organizations are hosting events in conjunction with Green Week, including the Oxford Community Market’s spring launch, a volunteer day at Strawberry Plains Audubon Center in Holly Springs and Earth Day Yoga, hosted by Campus Recreation on the South Campus Rail Trail.
 “We work collaboratively with campus and community partners to plan Green Week, a nice reminder of the collaborative nature of sustainability and environmental work as a whole,” McDonald said. “We cannot address complex environmental problems without teamwork, and Green Week is a great way to bring everyone to the table.”
To encourage the community to experience sustainable activities firsthand, the Office of Sustainability is also hosting a Green Week social media challenge. Participants are asked to complete four tasks and share them on social media to be entered to win a $50 Patagonia gift card.
Green Week is hosted in collaboration with sponsor Jim Keras Subaru; the university’s environmental studies minor; departments of Facilities Planning, Parking and Transportation, Landscape Services and Campus Recreation; the Oxford Community Market; and the Strawberry Plains Audubon Center. For more information, visit https://greenweek.olemiss.edu/
The Green Week schedule of events features:
Tuesday (April 17)

  • “UM Master Plan: Planning for a Pedestrian Friendly Campus” lunch-and-learn: 12:15 p.m., Center for Manufacturing Excellence multipurpose room (third floor). Lunch and coffee provided.
  • Oxford Community Market Spring Kickoff: 3-6:30 p.m., Old Armory Pavilion.
  • First Feast Fundraiser Dinner for the Oxford Community Market: 6:30-9:30 p.m., Old Armory Pavilion (tickets required)

Wednesday (April 18)

  • Sustainability Fair: 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Galtney Lott Plaza

Thursday (April 19)

  • Arbor Day Celebration and Tree Planting: 1 p.m., the Grove

Saturday (April 21)

  • Give Back to SPAC: Volunteer Work Day: 9 a.m.-noon, Strawberry Plains Audubon Center, Holly Springs

Sunday (April 22)

  • Earth Day Yoga: 4 p.m., South UM Campus Rail Trail. Admission is $5 for students, $10 for community members.
  • “It’s all Environmental Writing,” 2018 Earth Day keynote address by Camille Dungy: 7 p.m., Overby Center Auditorium

By Haley Renschler
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