SRU’s Earth Days program brings attention to protecting the environment


Macoskey Center

Slippery Rock University is hosting several Earth Days events, April 2 to May 7, many of which will be hosted at Macoskey Center for Sustainability Systems Education and Research.

March 29, 2019

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — "Protection of the Species" is the theme of this year's Earth Days program. The April 2 to May 7 program is organized and sponsored by the Slippery Rock University President's Commission on Sustainability.

Recent research indicates that many species, especially insects, are dying off at alarming rates. One study published in the journal Biological Conservation found that 40 percent of insect species are threatened with extinction. More than a third of insect species have declined in the last 10 years alone, with butterflies, moths and bumblebees among the most affected.

"Insects are dying off and it's come as a surprise to many people," said Paul Scanlon, SRU director of sustainability and co-chair of the President's Commission on Sustainability. "It's a combination of climate change, with the temperature changing to what the insects are not accustomed to, and also you have all these agricultural pesticides and fertilizers that are affecting them as well. It's a combination of things that are getting people nervous."

Some of the Earth Days events specifically address protecting biodiversity, but the organizers intend to address a variety of issues affecting the environment.

"Earth Days are a series of events to raise awareness about the issues of climate change and the solutions," Scanlon said. "We want to get people more interested in the environment and helping to preserve it."

Earth Days events, which are open to the public, except where noted, include:

BIRD AND BAGELS, 7 a.m., April 2, 9 and 16, at the Macoskey Center: The Macoskey Center staff will provide free bagels and coffee before leading a bird-watching tour on the trails.

"TRUE COST," 6 p.m., April 2, Smith Student Center Theater: There will be a viewing of the film "True Cost" about the negative impacts of the fashion industry. The event is part of "The Women in the Environment" film series sponsored by The Macoskey Center and the Women's Center.

FEATURED SPEAKER: LARRY SCHWEIGER, 7 p.m., April 11, Eisenberg Classroom Building Auditorium: Schweiger, author and former president/CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and PennFuture, will speak on the need to take action on climate change and the many solutions available to help mitigate its worst impacts.

"SHOW US YOUR GREEN" CONTEST, April 15-25: Bailey Library is sponsoring a contest for people to post a picture to their Instagram account and tagging @SRUBailey to show how they are helping the environment, celebrating the Earth's beauty, reducing waste or doing a "green" activity. All entries will receive a free Bailey Library reusable shopping bag with the grand prize winner receiving a Macoskey Center gift basket. Open to SRU students and employees only.

TAKE BACK THE WOODS, BATTLING INVASIVE SPECIES, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., April 20, Jennings Environmental Center: Volunteers will gather at the JEC to help weed out invasive species. Lunch will be provided. To learn more and to register by April 13, click here.

APSCUF FACULTY ADOPT-A-HIGHWAY CLEANUP, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., April 20 (rain date, April 27): The faculty union is hosting a volunteer roadside clean-up event near the Old Stone House at the intersection of Routes 8 and 173. Email or to RSVP.

CARNIVAL ON THE QUAD EARTH DAYS CELEBRATION, 12:30-1:30 p.m., April 23, The Quad (rain location: Aebersold Recreation Center): The Macoskey Center is hosting games, stress relief fun, food swap, student club and organization tables and much more. Open to SRU students and employees only.

EARTH DAY FESTIVAL, 12:30-1:30 p.m., April 23, Student Government Association Pavilion at The Quad (rain location: Aebersold Recreation Center): Students from Marcy Leeds' Environmental Health course will present posters and research from their class projects.

EQUESTRIAN CENTER 2019 TRAILS RUN AND FUNDRAISER, 9 a.m., April 27, Storm Harbor Equestrian Center: The Therapeutic Recreation: Accessing Independent Leisure and Social Skills, known as the TRAILS program, along with Autism Speaks, are hosting a 5K run. Click here to register and to receive a $5 discount by April 12.

MACOSKEY CENTER EARTHFEST AND CHILDREN'S EARTH DAY CELEBRATION, noon to 6 p.m., April 27, Macoskey Center (rain location: University Union): This annual, family-friendly event includes environmental themes and activities, including the Bright Star Touring Theatre Company presenting "Professor Parsnip's Lab of Healthy Choices," local/sustainable food, product vendors and music by Well Strung. Free parking available at the Storm Harbor Equestrian Center.

GARDENING WITH NATURE, NOT AGAINST IT, 11 a.m. to noon, May 1, Macoskey Center: This workshop will teach people how to maintain an organic garden that can be beneficial to the health of humans and wildlife alike. Participants should dress for the weather and wear walking shoes. Email to RSVP.

INTRODUCTION TO FOREST THERAPY, 2-4 p.m., May 7, Macoskey Center: This workshop introduces participants to Shinrin-yoku, also known as forest bathing, through a guided, meditative hike in the Macoskey Center forest, ending with a tea ceremony in the Macoskey Center's new Eco-Therapy Garden. Participants should dress for the weather and wear walking shoes. Email to RSVP.

For more details and updates visit:

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 |