More than a dozen groups with an interest in the environment will be on the campus of West Virginia State University from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today for an Earth Day celebration.
Participants will be able to visit booths and exhibits offering information about different aspects of the environment and interactive activities for visitors, such as a fly-fishing demonstration. All events are free and open to the public.
Also as part of the Earth Day celebration, Dr. Kevin Barry, WVSU assistant professor of biology, will lead a planting of native wildflowers and grasses beginning at 9 a.m. on the south side of Hamblin Hall. The planting will continue until all seedlings are planted.
Beginning at 11 a.m. a tree planting ceremony will take place between Fleming Hall and the Erickson Alumni Center. As part of the ceremony, university President Brian Hemphill will assist in the planting of a Northern Red Oak tree.
Some of the exhibitors on display during Earth Day will come from groups and departments within the university, including the parks and recreation program and the biology and chemistry departments.
Other exhibitors will come from off campus and will feature a diversity of both environmental groups and local groups with an interest in the outdoors. These organizations include: Coal River Group Inc., a citizens group dedicated to conservation, recreation and sustainable economic development in the Coal River watershed district; Handlan Bird Club, the local chapter of the Brooks Bird Club; West Virginia Division of Natural Resources; and the Kanawha Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited.
Environmental groups on hand that day will include the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, the West Virginia Environmental Council, Energy Efficient West Virginia, Friends of Blackwater and the Surface Owners Rights Organization.
In addition, West Virginia 350, an environmental group that works to reverse climate change, will bring a bicycle powered blender and will be offering free smoothies throughout the day.
Another group, New Vision Renewable Energy, will have a solar powered cooker on display.
The Earth Day celebration is the largest of its type to be hosted at West Virginia State, organizers said. Other events have been held in the past, but not to the size that organizers are planning this year.