For the next couple of weeks, trees across the Wake Forest University campus will be sporting yellow tree tags. Some of the tags offer the calculated value of ecosystem services that the trees provide. Others offer the general positive benefits of trees in our landscape. Others are quotes collected from authors and figureheads about the incalculable value of our campus trees.
Archive for the ‘Earth Day’ Category
Celebrate our urban forests, waterways, and the landscapes that surround us during Earth Week at Wake Forest. Inspired by Terry Tempest Williams’ quote “finding beauty in a broken world is creating beauty in the world we find,” this week-long celebration will take place March 19-25 with a variety of events to connect the Wake Forest community to actions that will protect and heal the ecosystems that support life.
How valuable are trees to you? Some of the yellow tree tags you’ve seen around campus offer the calculated value of ecosystem services that the trees provide. Others offer the general positive benefits of trees in our landscape. Still others offer sentiments from treasured authors about the inestimable value of our beloved trees.
The WFU Arbor Day Celebration takes place on Tuesday, April 19th from 4:00-6:00pm at the Reynolda Village trailhead. We will roll up our sleeves to plant some more trees and clean up the streams and forests that line our beautiful campus. Everyone who registers will enjoy a cookout following the service; vegetarian options available. This event takes place rain or shine, and is sponsored by Greeks Go Green, Landscaping Services, WFU Residence Life & Housing, Student Engagement, and the Pro Humanitate Institute. To register for this event, click here.
“Pro Humanitiate” is in action on the sustainability front at Wake Forest through a partnership with UpcycleLife. The Charlotte-based, not-for-profit produces one-of-a-kind bags and accessories by upcycling things like billboards or banners. It isn’t just that UpcycleLife is keeping vinyl out of our landfills, it’s the way they do it. The mission is to help protect the environment, and at the same time transform lives by creating jobs for individuals in under-served communities.
The environmental problem is that vinyl billboard and banner material takes hundreds of years to break down in landfills. UpcycleLife diverts this material from the landfill by giving it a new use, and at the same time teaching folks in impoverished communities valuable job skills such as sewing, shipping, and receiving. UpcycleLife feels they have developed a method to impact a waste stream and create a steady employment model. Ideally, the model could be scaled in such a way that UpcycleLife could make a huge impact on the waste stream in the broader US.
The results of the partnership with Wake Forest so far are 3 banners from the university being upcycled for the cause. By recycling these 3 banners UpcycleLife was able to employ 4 individuals from the local community for a total of 32 hours of paid work. On the flip-side, the upcycled products tell a unique story and provide users with a little piece of Wake Forest history.
According to Emma Kate Hosey, with the Charlotte-based organization: “UpcycleLife creates jobs for disadvantaged citizens by creating a product that reduces our impact on the environment. Our products are one-of-a-kind, hand-made, and made of reclaimed vinyl. We love taking a dirty banner and making it into a piece of art.”
Key Statistics about UpcycleLife:
- Employed, trained and graduated over 12 refugee men and women in the Charlotte NC area in 3 years
- Upcycled over 40,000 different products
- Rescued over 10,000 lbs of vinyl from entering landfills
- Provided free weekly English training and financial advising
Wake Forest’s celebration of Earth Day this year included the announcement of Champions of Change award winners. This was the first year of the program, which recognizes the creativity and innovation of individuals and teams who work to integrate principles of sustainability across campus. Provost Rogan Kersh and Sr. VP/CFO Hof Milam presented the awards.
Winners were recognized in four categories: Resource Conservation, Service and Social Action, Teaching Research and Engagement, and Bright Ideas.
- Residence Life & Housing and Financial Services were jointly named champions of change in Resource Conservation. Residence Life and Housing dramatically reduced solid waste and conserved water through renovation and retrofit programs this past year; Financial Services supported the conversion to electronic business processes campus-wide.
- Campus Kitchen was named as a winner in the Service and Social Action category. Campus Kitchen repurposes prepared, but not served, food from our campus dining facilities into balanced meals for members of the broader Winston-Salem community.
- For Teaching, Research and Engagement, Lynn Book and her faculty colleagues Angela Kocze and Wanda Balzano were recognized for their work in the new course, “Women, Entrepreneurship and Sustainability.” Students collaborated with community partners Margaret Norfleet-Neff and Salem Neff, the mother-daughter team who founded the Old Salem Cobblestone Farmers Market.
- Abby McNeal was recognized for her Bright Idea in turf management and the installation of the UgMo Wireless Soil Sensor System at Spry Soccer Field. UgMo is an underground monitoring system that measures soil moisture at the root level and determines when and how much to water on a zone-to-zone basis.
Thirty nominations were received for the four awards. A committee evaluated the nominations based on:
- The ways in which the nominees have helped advance one or more of the Wake Forest University campus sustainability strategic goals
- The level of participation by colleagues within the department or unit
- The measurable impact among constituents across campus or in the community served
Additionally, Green Team captains Peter Romanov, Darlene Starnes and Carol Lavis were named champions of change for their departmental leadership. 65% of our departments and units across campus are now led by Green Team captains – they support their colleagues with the resources and encouragement to integrate sustainability into everyday workplace decisions.
Before the fair officially began, we celebrated a unique group of change agents. At the inaugural Champions of Change award ceremony, Provost Rogan Kersh and Sr. VP/CFO Hof Milam presented campus sustainability leadership awards in four categories: resource conservation; service and social action; teaching, research, and engagement; and bright ideas.
Wake Forest’s own Hobbs Sisters led the crowd that gathered for the awards program down to Manchester Plaza, where fair attendees were lined up to receive their participation passports and ready to begin the fun.
Over 400 students, faculty, staff, and friends attended the celebration. In addition to food and entertainment, fairgoers learned about the ways that caring for one’s self, caring for one’s community and, ultimately, caring for life on the planet are related and interdependent. We would like to thank all of the entertainers, exhibitors, and vendors who provided the inspiration to love the world we’re with.
Did you get a chance to see those artsy trees on the Mag Quad for Earth Day? If you did, you witnessed Wake a Forest, a play on the United Nations’ Make a Forest campaign. In 2011, the UN proclaimed that year to be dedicated to the forest. Their aim was to highlight the forestry industry while shedding light on the adverse effects of deforestation at the same time. To do this, cultural institutions were prompted to create their own trees across the globe while portraying what a forest meant to them. A sample of these trees can be found at makeaforest.org.
These trees ranged from typographical trees crafted out of shoe laces to walls covered in suggested tree forms. The types of trees were wide-ranging. A team of Wake Forest students headed by De’Noia Woods and Kelsey Zalimeni decided to create their own Wake a Forest to contribute to the project. Individuals or groups who participated had one constraint – they had to use found and reclaimed materials. After much thought, students took the idea and ran with it by creating trees out of materials from plaster to old street signs. The types of trees varied as a reflection of the interest of the group or the personality of the individual student. The forest emulated the array of students that attend Wake Forest University in a very creative and unique way. Check out the WAF trees at http://www.flickr.com/photos/sustainablewfu/.
Contributed by De’Noia Woods ‘13, Office of Sustainability Photography Intern
Food For Thought 2013, the Office of Sustainability’s Earth Day Celebration, was a great success. The fair was held on Manchester Plaza on April 20th. Students, faculty, staff, and other members of the community enjoyed a beautiful, sunny day full of live music, live animals, educational booths on sustainable practices, and great food and drink. The Office of Sustainability is grateful to attendees, vendors, educators, volunteers, and performers who participated. The success of the fair would not have been possible without each, who helped further foster knowledge and engagement in sustainable practices.
Join the Piedmont Environmental Alliance for the 7th annual Piedmont Earth Day Fair. Admission and parking are both free at this fun, family-friendly event. Know someone else on campus who wants to go? Consider walking, biking or carpooling to the event to be kind to the Earth.
When: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Where: Dixie Classic Fair Grounds
Spend an hour or the whole day exploring the fair. From great food to children’s activities to educational exhibits, there’s something for everyone.
The Piedmont Earth Day Fair is right around the corner. Have you signed up to volunteer? Volunteers are especially needed for Parking, Zero Waste, Exhibitor Assistance, and Clean-up after the Fair. So, grab some friends and plan to enjoy the Fair and also spend a few hours giving back. You must be at least 16 years old and able to commit to showing up on time and completing a shift. Shifts vary from 2-3 hours long.
A little about the event:
April 16, 2011, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Dixie Classic Fair Grounds in Winston-Salem
Founded by PEA, the Piedmont Earth Day Fair is the Triad’s largest Earth Day event. Now in its 6th consecutive year, the Fair promotes environmental stewardship through practical life applications. Over 8,000 attended the 2010 Fair at Wake Forest University.
Learn more about the event and sign up to volunteer here.
See you there!