York's Green Team plans Earth Day celebration April 20

Penn State York students, faculty, staff, and friends and neighbors will clean-up the campus woods from noon to 2 p.m. on Friday, April 20, as part of an Earth Day Celebration. The event is being organized by the campus’ recently formed Green Team, the Penn State York Student Government Association, and the Penn State Sustainability Office. Sunday, April 22 is the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day and a variety of events are set to take place across the University.

Green Teams are groups of faculty, staff, and students volunteering to take specific actions to help their organization (college, department, building, etc.) operate in a more efficient, innovative, and healthy way. Typically, Green Teams focus on making their operations more sustainable through the easy to follow Green Paws Program and other initiatives unique to their departments. Currently, University Park has 50 Green Teams, and there are nine of them at the Commonwealth Campuses, operating in various departments.

“Participants are in our Earth Day clean-up are encouraged to put on their work clothes and be ready to rake leaves, clear brush, remove fallen limbs, and at the same time have some fun while tidying up this wonderful campus asset,” said Annie Haines, co-chair of the York campus Green Team and an area representative for continuing education at the campus.  This is the York Green Team’s first event on campus.  Forge Hardware Inc., in Spring Grove, Pa., has donated work gloves for the clean-up of the woods.

Live acoustic music will be provided by Troy Miller and lunch will be provided for all who preregister by emailing Haines at [email protected] or calling 717-771-4197.  There will also be give away items and a representative from Penn Waste will have an information table set-up during the event.  Those who plan to participate in the clean-up should meet at the entrance to the woods on the upper portion of the campus off Edgecomb Ave.

In addition, Penn State York’s Students for Computer Recycling to Outfit Underrepresented Nonprofit Groups in Education (SCROUNGE) group will collect computer parts for recycling.  SCROUNGE has refurbished old computer parts and placed more than 1,000 computers back out in the community to nonprofit groups and others who might not otherwise be able to afford them.  Local businesses as well as individuals have contributed to the SCROUNGE effort.

According to Haines, Penn State York’s Green Team wants to engage the campus community in behavioral change that promotes sustainability.  They plan to promote awareness on the importance of recycling, energy and water conservation, and encouraging transportation alternatives such as walking, biking, and carpooling.   The Green Team will also encourage the incorporation of sustainability practices throughout the curriculum.

In addition to Haines, members of the campus Green Team include Holly Gumke, director of business services, who also serves as co-chair of the team; Barbara Dennis, coordinator of publications and promotion; Art Henne, instructor in English; Ed Jenkins, instructor in business administration; Fulgentius Lugemwa, assistant professor of chemistry; Josie Moore, instructor in communication arts and sciences, Anna Robuccio, Penn State York student; and Dan Rupp, system administrator.  Any other interested members of the campus are encouraged to join the team by contacting Haines or Gumke.

Penn State recently drafted a University-wide sustainability strategic plan with the vision to embed sustainability as a fundamental value at the University.