Office of Sustainability promotes Earth Week events

April 22, 2013

Alexander Nedd
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UCCS prides itself as one of Colorado’s greenest colleges. Environmentally friendly buildings and new solar systems showcase the power of saving energy and recycling on campus.

On April 22, UCCS and the world will be celebrating Earth Day. The Office of Sustainability has scheduled a week full of eco-friendly events to capture the student body’s attention.

Kevin Gilford, assistant sustainability director, aims to bring creativity and sustainability knowledge to campus and is excited for their annual event.

“The theme for the week is Acts of Green and Blue,” Gilford said. “Our big focus is on water because of the drought we have in Colorado and the fires that we had last year.”

David Maxon, a sophomore biology major, helps coordinate the events at the Office of Sustainability.

“My favorite thing about Earth Week is the Clean the Stream [project],” Maxon said. “We have about 30 to 40 volunteers come and help clean the Templeton Gap floodway. We get to meet a lot of people and have free food.”

Earth Week kicks off Monday, April 22 with Earth Day. Office of Sustainability will be celebrating the day from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the El Pomar Plaza with a variety of information, music, games and of course, free food.

“We have solar cookers, we’re giving away seeds and potted plants,” Maxon said. “It a good way to show a lot of information and figure out what’s going on at UCCS in terms of sustainability.”

The week continues with a showing of “Finding Nemo” on the West Lawn on Wednesday, April 24, at 8 p.m.

“Water is important and it goes with our theme,” said Gilford.

To finish out Earth Week, the semi-annual Clean the Stream will be held Friday, April 26. UCCS has adopted the Templeton Gap floodway that runs parallel with Union by Austin Bluffs.

Each semester, student and staff volunteers to pick up trash around the stream. The project has been done for four years. All students are welcome to join.

“We ask them to bring water and appropriate clothes, and recycle,” said Gilford.

The Clean the Stream project is partnered with Colorado Springs Utilities.

Over the past couple of years, Colorado has seen an increase with droughts. With respect to last year’s Waldo Canyon Fire, Gilford hopes to promote awareness on the importance of water in Colorado.

Gilford urges students and faculty to remember the tips learned at events and to have them be applied throughout the year.

“What we are looking for is for people to be more aware of their habits,” Gilford said. “We need to change some of these so we aren’t using as much of our natural resources. Don’t buy it in the first place; recycle, watch what we throw away and watch what we purchase.”

“All the [events] are going to be pretty exciting,” Maxon added. “A good way to figure out what you want to do to help is to come to the El Pomar Center this [Earth Day] and spend five minutes.”

All the events are co-sponsored with the Office of Student Activities and Sodexo. To learn more about the Office of Sustainability and to register for the Clean the Stream project, visit