Earth Week kicks off

Looking to get involved in making a positive impact on the environment? The 10-day Earth Week 2013 kicks off this Wednesday, April 17, with several events promoting environmental awareness and green initiatives.

This year, Mercyhurst’s Earth Week theme will focus on “New Ways of Changing Erie’s Environment.” This theme envelops topics including public health, environmental connections, and access to healthy foods.

It will begin on Wednesday with a screening of “The Island President.”

This award-winning documentary tells the story of President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives and his fight to save his country from global warming. This film will be screened in Zurn 114 at 7 p.m.

Earth Day is Monday, April 22, and will be packed with several events leading up to a lecture by Nancy Huehnergarth, author and public health advocate.

Her speech, titled “Creating a Healthy Environment: Lessons from New York,” will be the first of a two-night lecture series in Taylor Little Theatre.

Tuesday, April 23, will feature a lecture by author and national expert Rosalind Creasy. Creasy’s presentation will discuss “Transforming your Home and Health through Edible Landscaping,” a discussion about the various health and environmental benefits of gardening. Both lectures in the series start at 7 p.m. and are free and open to both students and the general public.

Aside from these events, there will also be an off-campus volunteer project on Earth Day called “Clean-Up in Girard.” This project is funded by a $16,900 grant from the Erie Community Foundation, and focuses on repairing and enhancing recreational trails in the Girard, Pa., area.

“Two trails were selected as the first phase of the project, one along Elk Creek leading from Girard Borough Park to Mercyhurst-owned property,” Mercyhurst sustainability officer Brittany Prischak said. “The other is a trail on the Erie County Historical Society property behind the Battles Museum’s Yellow House.”

Earth Day volunteers will be cleaning up the area around these trails and preparing them for repairs. Van transportation will be provided to students involved, and will leave campus at 9:15 a.m.

The Student Sustainability Club will be hosting the final Earth Week 2013 event with the annual “Post Thaw Clean-Up” on Saturday, April 27. Starting in Garvey Park at 10 a.m., students can lend a hand in rejuvenating the campus outdoors from the effects of winter.

For more information about this event or to get involved with the club, email

Contact Prischak at or visit the Sustainability Office in Egan 305 to get involved with the green initiative.