Loyola honors Earth Day with week-long celebration

Maleigh Crespo, Design Chief

Environmental studies freshman Katie Buc decided to become a Loyolan when she toured the campus on Earth Day last year during the university’s annual Earth Week celebration.

“It was all about the environment,” she said. “And that’s when I knew I wanted to go here.”

For decades, the Loyola environment program has hosted events celebrating Earth Day, according to environment program director Craig Hood.

However, the week-long celebration we know today has only been around for the past seven years with varying events.

One event that has remained consistent all seven years is the Greenhouse Gathering. The culminating event allows students to visit the Azby greenhouse, located on the rooftop of Monroe Hall, to see plants cultivated by environment students. The event also has refreshments, live music, and stargazing for attendees.

Music industry senior CM Young is performing at the event.

“It’s a really lively way of bringing people together,” he said.

As for the rest of the week, students could take their pick on attending and participating in a multitude of Earth-inspired events.

“There’s so much to do, even if your schedule doesn’t line up with one event, there’s three or four other events that day,” Buc said.

The environmental program has been planning since last year and collaborated with several on-campus departments and community organizations to create the Earth Week experience, according to Hood.

He said the goal was to have a wide-range of events, so students, no matter their interests or skill set, could engage in the festivities.

The design department created an interactive display to promote and provide more information about the events and the environment. The display was held in the One Loyola Room in the Danna Center.

Loyola Dining, in partnership with Krafted by Chef Kraig, hosted a farmer’s market and an edible garden for students to enjoy.

The theatre arts and dance opera workshop is having an environmental-themed opera showcase on Friday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m. entitled “The Promise of Living.”

Hood said that most of the departments involved reside in Monroe Hall, and students and faculty across disciplines know each other, so it just made sense. Involving different programs across campus is critically important, which is why the planning must begin early, he said.

Design sophomore Tanesha Taylor said she was proud that the design program was able to create something special for students to enjoy during Earth Week.

“I’m proud that people get to see that there’s a design program here that does cool stuff,” she said.

Although the events are over the course of a week, Hood maintains that Earth Day is not just one day or one week.

“Issues of environmental, social, sustainability, and even public health are with us every day,” he said. “That is the driving goal and purpose.”

Buc said Earth Week is not just about learning the different aspects of the environment, but also learning about our impact on it.

“There are so many different parts of the environment, but there’s also us, as humans. We are the environment as well. We’re not in charge of it, and we have so much we can do, but also so much we can stop doing,” she said.