(COLUMBIA, Tenn. – April 8, 2016) - - - In celebration of the college’s 50th anniversary, as well as achievements and commitments towards sustainable business practices, Columbia State Community College will celebrate Earth Day on April 22 from 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the Warf Plaza. The “Family and Friends – 50 Years Forward” event will be a time to learn, discuss and put into motion many different ways to inhabit our Earth in a smarter, greener, more sustainable way.
“We want to highlight the local sustainable features and services in our community,” said Andrew Wright, event organizer and Columbia State assistant professor of mathematics. “There are a lot of people and organizations already taking steps to be more environmentally conscious, and we want the community to be a part of these efforts in making a difference.”
Wright noted that as contributing factors to climate change, some of the most pressing environmental issues we face right now are water, deforestation, food, energy, transportation and waste. He said this calls for an ongoing conversation and an immediate act for change.
“Our aim is to educate and raise awareness among participants to become more sustainable stewards of our community, state, country, and ultimately, Earth,” Wright added.
Keynote speakers for the event include Dr. Shari Meghreblian, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Bureau of Environment deputy commissioner, and Amanda Little, investigative journalist and Vanderbilt University writer-in-residence.
Meghreblian oversees the department’s environmental air, land and water regulatory programs. She has been recognized for her ability to provide strategic insight and analyze processes and procedures to streamline business practices and has been appointed to several boards and councils supporting three different departments of state government.
Little, a journalist, author and educator whose reporting on energy and climate change has taken her to ultra-deep oil rigs, down manholes, into sewage plants, and inside monsoon clouds. She teaches investigative journalism at Vanderbilt University, and her writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Bloomberg Businessweek, Wired, The Washington Post, and New York magazine, among other publications.
In addition to a presentation on Columbia State's current sustainable practices and initiatives, the Earth Day presentations will include “Greasy but Green: Basics of Biofuel,” “How 5 R’s Can Change Your World,” “Agroforestry - Combining Trees and Agriculture for Multiple Uses and Benefits,” “Be Dirt Rich…Learn to Live Sustainably,” and more.
There will be a variety of exhibits and booths at the Earth Day event, including:
- Libscomb University, Sustainability and Engineering Programs
- Thistle Farms
- Stoney Creek Farm
- Whitthorne Middle School Aquaponics Program
- The Sierra Club
- Lucas Chevrolet
- Columbia Power and Water Systems
- Bio-Diesel with Daniel Kelley
- Glendale Farm
- The Pew Charitable Trusts
- Perfectly Posh
There will also be several food trucks, including Moe's Better BBQ, Nashville Burrito Company and Padrino's Pops.
In addition, there will be a stargazing event at Chickasaw Trace Park around sunset (about 7:28 p.m.) Friday evening. For additional information about the Earth Day event or tips for stargazing, visit www.ColumbiaState.edu/EarthDay.
The Warf Plaza is in front of the J.H. Warf Building on the Columbia Campus, located at 1665 Hampshire Pike in Columbia.
Photo Caption: In 2013, Dr. Shari Meghreblian (pictured) was appointed by the Environmental Council of the States to serve as the chair of the ECOS Federal Facilities Forum and was selected as co-chair for Tennessee Region’s Roundtable State Advisors Committee. She was most recently recognized as a “Woman of Influence in Public Policy” for 2016 by the Nashville Business Journal.
Photo Caption: Amanda Little (pictured) is the author of “Power Trip: The Story of America’s Love Affair With Energy,” published by Harper Collins. The recipient of the Jane Bagley Lehman Award for excellence in environmental journalism, she has interviewed key figures on all sides of the climate change debate, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain and James Inhofe.
Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee’s first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, one of the largest higher education systems in the nation. For more information, please visit www.columbiastate.edu.
Tennessee’s Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. We offer associate degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at tncommunitycolleges.org.
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