Earth Month raises awareness for environment

Lauren Biertempfel

The Office of Sustainability partnered up with different organizations around campus to host Earth Month and give students the opportunity to get involved and learn how to be environmentally friendly. 

“Earth Month is really about raising awareness about how we relate to our planet and even to our local community and environment,” said Melanie Knowles, manager of sustainability for the Office of Sustainability. “Every resource that we use comes from our environment: Our air, water, food and everything we use to manufacture all comes from the environment.”

Many of the events planned at Kent State for April bring attention to sustainability and the environment. 

“There are a lot of different groups and people around campus who want to recognize Earth Day and Earth Month,” Knowles said. “We wanted to bring everything together in one place so people could really see what’s going on and have an appreciation for how strongly people feel about it.” 

A number of campus events will take place on and around Earth Day, April 22.

“The truth is we need to protect this environment because this is the environment that we live in and we get our air, water and food from,” Knowles said. “A lot of people and organizations over time have planned events on and around Earth Day, and it has slowly branched out into Earth Month.”

She said some of the events planned include Adirondack chair assembly, a clothing swap and rain barrel art contest. 

The Office of Sustainability ordered 10 new Adirondack chairs, wooden chairs for outdoor use, and is looking for students to help assemble them. Knowles said the chairs from previous years can be found throughout different areas of campus.

The university also partnered up with the City of Kent for GreenTown Kent, Ohio, a two-day conference that helps communities, especially college towns, be more sustainable, Knowles said. The conference will take place April 13 and 14 at the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center.

One of the biggest events is the Arbor Day/Recyclemania Tree Planting, which will be awarded to the first or second place residence halls winners of Recyclemania, said Leah Graham, outreach recycling coordinator at the Office of Sustainability.

The Office of Sustainability is also teaming up with University Facilities Management for the tree planting and Tree Campus USA designation.

Rebekkah Berryhill, groundskeeping supervisor for University Facilities Management, said the Tree Campus USA designation shows stewardship toward keeping trees around on campus for the environmental benefits. 

Trees help give us clean oxygen and water and help reduce the amount of heating and cooling by shading buildings in the summer and letting sunlight in during the winter months, she said.

“We have chosen a Kentucky Coffee tree this year, which is in the same family as a walnut tree,” Berryhill said.

In addition to the tree being planted, students also have the opportunity to help and learn the correct way to plant trees to obtain a healthy growth, Berryhill said. 

For a full list of Earth Month events, visit

Contact Lauren Biertempfel at [email protected]