Open Enrollment, the annual period when eligible employees reflect on their benefit options for the coming year, begins Monday, Nov. 1, and continues through Friday, Nov. 12. This is the one time of year when University faculty and staff may…
Come Celebrate at Earthfest: Why Every Day Should be Earth Day
Syracuse University Sustainability Management, the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), BrainFeeders and Students of Sustainability (SOS) are sponsoring Earthfest, a free communitywide, sustainability-themed music and arts festival celebrating Earth Day in the Thornden Park Amphitheater on Sunday, April 23, from noon-4 p.m., with a yoga session starting at 11:30 a.m.
This year’s festival will continue the tradition of connecting Syracuse, Syracuse University, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and the local neighborhoods surrounding the campuses, to celebrate all the ways these communities keep our area sustainable and environmentally sound. Entry to the festival is free and food is available for purchase.
“This celebration will bring the campus and community together to discuss and explore issues that are affecting us all,” says Ethan Thompson, project coordinator of NYPIRG. “We will also be having games and activities for all who attend to interact with our issues in a more fun and in depth manner.”
The day will feature local musicians, artists, community and student organizations, prominent speakers, local vendors, and food trucks. The day’s keynote speaker is Jeanne Shenandoah, a member of the Onondaga Nation’s Eel Clan. Shenandoah is a writer and an activist, focusing on issues of health and the environment, and she is committed to promoting awareness and protection of Mother Earth. She has been involved in advocacy surrounding the cleanup and prevention of further pollution in Onondaga Lake, which is the sacred center of Onondaga culture and heritage. Two youth groups from the Onondaga Nation will also have informational tables at the event.
Orange Music Group, an SU student organization that works on producing, marketing and branding for local artists, has coordinated the event’s band outreach. The opening band, Greener Days and High Water, start playing at 12:15 p.m. They combine folk, indie and rock to create a homegrown sound native to Central New York. Other musical groups, such as Colleen Kattau and DOS XX and Smiles for Myles, will be playing throughout the festival.
“Earthfest is about coming together on a very important topic, the Earth! It is a unique event in which the local community, Syracuse University and ESF are able to collaborate about sustainability topics. Most importantly, it allows the community the chance to celebrate all of the hard work that is done throughout the area to keep our environment healthy,” says Meg Lowe, sustainability assistant for Sustainability Management.
Attendees are asked to make donations online to Syracuse Grows, a not-for-profit grassroots network that develops food justice through advocacy, education and resources in support of urban food production. In addition, all vendors have been asked to donate 10 percent of funds raised to this organization.
The three student organizations who are co-sponsors of this event will have informational tables for attendees to learn more about their organizations. Approximately, 20 different organizations will be promoting environmental issues and activism, selling environmental art, jewelry and local food items.
Visit the co-sponsors tables, Students of Sustainability (SOS), which seeks to increase sustainability and environmental consciousness across campus, BrainFeeders, a group that works to establish long-lasting food access and justice programs throughout the SU and ESF campuses, and NYPIRG, a research and public education organization that examines important issues, such as protection of the environment and public health.
“We hope this event will be an inspiring reminder that we all stand together in protecting our environment, strengthening our local communities, and supporting movements for social and environmental justice,” says Maizy T Ludden, president of SOS.
Since Earthfest promotes sustainability, attendees are encouraged and asked to bring any items they need, such as reusable water bottles. Vendors have been asked to use sustainable packaging or food service products, including paper, compostable items or recyclable products. In addition, composting, trash and recycling will be readily available.
The event is open to the public. The location and directions can be found here.
RSVP and receive updates on the Facebook event. Like and share the Earthfest Facebook community page. Check out the Facebook pages of the sponsors: Syracuse University Sustainability, NYPIRG SU and ESF, BrainFeeders and Students of Sustainability.
Story by Sustainability Management Newhouse Intern Jiangyifan Ke