Earth Week

Each year, the Office of Sustainability coordinates with Students for Environmental Action to host a week-long event series in celebration of Earth Day. Earth Day is a national holiday held annually on April 22. The first Earth Day celebration in 1970 activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. The passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon followed.  More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.

For questions or for more information on any of these events, please email

Monday 4/18 Tuesday 4/19 Wednesday 4/20 Thursday 4/21 Friday 4/22 Saturday 4/23
Earth Week Kickoff Careers in Sustainability Panel WatershedUGA: Daylighting Lily Run for the River Earth Day of Service Middle Oconee River Cleanup
Group Bike Ride WatershedUGA: Tanyard Creek Cleanup Yoga Under the Stars South by South Milledge Campus Kitchen + Spoon University Farm to Tap
Check the Signs

Earth Week Kickoff: Farmers Market and Fair
Monday, April 18 • 10AM-2PM
Tate Plaza and North Lawn

Earth Week kicks off with a lively farmers market and fair at Tate Plaza and Tate North Lawn! Snack on the freshest farmers market fare as you browse the array of tables set up through the plaza. The tabling fair will feature student-led and local organizations promoting sustainability initiatives. Bonus: Bring your bike for free bike tune-ups on the plaza stage courtesy of BikeAthens!

Group Bike Ride
Monday, April 18 • 6-7PM
Meet at Tate Plaza 

Now that your newly tuned-up ride is ready to go, it’s time to hit the road! We’ll meet together at the Tate Student Center for a scenic, evening ride starting at 6PM and end at the Georgia Theatre just in time for Check the Signs’ rooftop performance at 7PM. All levels, all ages welcome! Helmets mandatory. 

See the Facebook event for the official route map, courtesy of BikeAthens!

Check the Signs
Monday, April 18 • 7-9PM
Georgia Theatre Rooftop

Check The Signs is a family musical group from right here in Athens, Georgia. Scott and Mindy Towe have been performing with various bands in Athens since they moved here in 1989. They own two shops on Clayton Street in Downtown Athens: “The Red Zone” and “I Love Athens.” Their son, Mason, is a fourth year student at the UGA, and serves as the Zero Waste intern at the UGA Office of Sustainability. Their daughter, Lauren, is a junior at Oconee County High School, member of the Warrior Marching Band, and President of the OCHS Environmental Club. The band released its debut album “Along the Way” in 2014 and most recently composed and recorded a pop theme song for Binny, the Athens-Clarke County Recycling mascot.

Lauren Towe – Keyboard, Vocals • Mason Towe – Drums, Vocals • Mindy Towe – Guitar, Saxophone, Vocals • Scott Towe – Bass Guitar, Vocals

RSVP to the Facebook event here.

Green Gigs: Inspiring Careers in Sustainability Panel 
Tuesday, April 19 • 4-5:30PM
Miller Learning Center, Reading Room 

Ready to launch a career where you can make a difference? Considered a career in sustainability, but not sure where to start? Join us for a lively discussion panel and networking session featuring leaders from Coca-Cola, Georgia Power, the City of Atlanta government, the National Wildlife Federation, the EPA, and the Terry College of Business. Refreshments will be provided by home.made catering. Co-sponsored by the UGA Career Center, UGA Center for Leadership and Service and Women in Science.

Let us know you’re coming here!

Watershed UGA: Tanyard Creek Clean-Up
Tuesday, April 19 • 5-7PM
Meet at entrance gate to Tate Parking Deck

We might not think about it, but we interact with the Tanyard Creek watershed nearly every day on campus. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and face our impact. Join us and Watershed UGA for a laid back stream clean-up. Please bring water and wear clothes and footwear you don’t mind getting  muddy! Footwear should be waterproof and sturdy enough for steep banks. We will provide gloves. 

Daylighting Lily: Watershed UGA                                       
April 20 • 12PM-3PM

The Office of Sustainability, in conjunction with WatershedUGA, will be hosting a series of events on East Campus focused on getting students to interact with our campus waterways. At noon, students can walk down by the Lamar Dodd School of Art and learn how to conduct a pH test, a vital procedure for understanding the state of our streams. During this time the UGA Food Service Dept. will be handing out free samples of their new line of fresh fruit and herb carbonated drinks.

Students will also be encouraged to participate in a brand new geocache centered around the awesomeness of the Lily Branch watershed. Geocaching is a fun way to interact with our watershed, learn what efforts on campus are going on to improve watershed health, and collect cool, rare stickers!

Lastly, at approximately 12pm, a dye test will commence in all buildings on East Campus in an attempt to track where all of our waste ends up. Students participating in the pH test will be citizen scientists, looking for fluorescent dye color to enter the stream. This effort is an attempt to ensure our waterways are free from human waste.

Yoga Under the Stars
Wednesday, April 20 • 8-9:30PM
Myers Quad

Relax and unwind before the madness of finals week begins. Come out to Myers Quad for a free community yoga class led by Maleah from Rubber Soul Yoga studio. We’ll stretch, stargaze, and after class, enjoy tea and coffee courtesy of Karma Coffee. Please bring your own mat or towel. All ages, all levels welcome!

RSVP to the Facebook event here.

Run for the River    
Thursday, April 21 • 12PM
Meet at corner of Hull Street and Baxter Street

Join Watershed UGA and the Office of Sustainability for a running tour that highlights the watersheds and streams that flow through campus, as well as campus sustainability and UGA History. The run stretches approximately 3 miles and will be run at a leisurely, conversational pace. We’ll meet at the corner of Hull and Baxter Street– the home of the Chew Crew. If you haven’t already heard, the Chew Crew is a prescribed grazing program using goats to remove invasive species adjacent to Tanyard Creek. From there we traverse campus to Lilly Branch at the Lamar Dodd School of Art where we will trace on the surface the stream path as it flows underground.  We will then loop by Driftmier woods, one of the last stands of old-growth Piedmont forest in Athens, and run through Lumpkin Woods, a long stretch of rain garden, before returning to Tanyard Creek by the Tate Student Center.

The Big Read: Nature Writing Guided by Robinson Jeffers
Thursday, April 21 • 5-6:30PM
State Botanical Garden

As spring comes into bloom, do you long to express your wide awakeness to nature in words? Put down your phone and do some writing! Cora Keber will begin with a tour of the International Garden, followed by an indoor activity led by College of Education professor Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor to use the writings of Robinson Jeffers to spark some deep thinking about nature and poetry through guided writing exercises.

The Big Read: ‘Georgia Review’ Earth Day Celebration
Thursday, April 21 • 7PM
State Botanical Garden Visitor’s Center

Internationally regarded essayist and poet, Alison Hawthorne Deming, will read from her work at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia’s Visitors Center. Deming’s numerous authored and edited books all focus heavily on natural/environmental subjects and concerns. Her latest work is “Zoologies: On Animals and the Human Spirit” (2014); her earlier books include “The Edges of the Civilized World,” “Writing the Sacred into the Real,” “Temporary Homelands” and “The Colors of Nature: Essays on Culture, Identity and the Natural World.” Refreshments will be served.

South by South Milledge (SXSM)
Thursday, April 21 • 5-8PM

Join UGArden at the Lower Barn located at UGArden for South by South Milledge 2016! $3 gets you access to the whole shindig. Food will be provided from Taziki’s, Mama’s Boy, and Heirloom Cafe (+ more!). Bring all your friends and dance to some groovy tunes played by local bands and meet new people!
***Please bring your own plates, bowls, and utensils***

Questions/Comments? Contact:

Earth Day of Service          
Friday, April 22 • Various afternoon times
Various locations

It’s officially Earth Day! Today, we encourage you to show your appreciation by getting outside and participating in one of our Earth Day service projects co-sponsored by some incredible local organizations. Opportunities include:

• Rooftop Garden Workday: Geography building rooftop garden, 2-4PM
Sign up here. Only 10 spots available!
• UGA Chew Crew Workday: Driftmier Woods, time TBD
Sign up here.
• Athens Land Trust Farm/Garden Workday: Location and time TBD
Sign up here.
• UGArden Farm Workday: UGArden, 2-5PM
Sign up here.
• Lunchbox Garden Project: Barnett Shoals Elementary, 3:30-4:30PM
Sign up here

Campus Kitchens & Spoon University present DIVE! The Film
Friday, April 22 • 6-8PM
Memorial Hall Ballroom

Join the Campus Kitchen at UGA and Spoon University for an evening of fun, food and film as we dive into the topic of needless waste in the American food industry. DIVE! follows filmmaker Jeremy Seifert and friends as they salvage thousands of pounds of edible food from dumpsters in Los Angeles. The inspiring documentary is equal parts entertainment, guerilla journalism and call to action. Enjoy refreshments and talk with local organizations that are working to improve the sustainability of our food industry. Sponsored by Food & Wine Magazine. Free admission!

Let us know you’re coming here!

Big Read: ‘Another Kid’s Treasure Island’ by Children’s Theatre Troupe
Saturday, April 23 • 10-11:15AM
State Botanical Garden Visitor’s Center

“Another Kids’ Treasure Island” is an original play about siblings Liza, Jack, and Avery Hinkley, lost on an abandoned island after a boating afternoon gone awry. Throughout their time on the island, the children use natural and found resources to build a life away from home. Join Mayor McMillian and the town of Franklin in hearing their story and awarding the siblings for their bravery, innovation, and work to change the community!

“Treasure Island” was written by Kelsey Brown, a junior communication sciences and disorders and theater major. Her idea for the play won her the UGA Sustainability + Arts Grant award by the UGA Office of Sustainability, and it is performed by the UGA Children’s Theater Troupe. Admission is $5.

Middle Oconee River Clean-Up
Saturday, April 23 • 11AM-2PM
Big Dogs on the River

The annual Middle Oconee River Clean-Up is back! Come spend the afternoon beautifying our community’s backyard as we remove trash, tires and other waste we find while paddling down the river. Participants will meet at Big Dogs on the River, where we’ll drop in and paddle down until we’re picked up off of Macon Highway. Afterwards, we’ll enjoy a nice Barberito’s burrito picnic– our treat!

Spots are limited and will run out! Paddlers must present a ticket (register here) confirming their spot.

This clean-up is co-hosted by the UGA Office of Sustainability, Big Dogs on the River,WatershedUGA, the UGA Outdoor Recreation Center and Keep Athens- Clarke County Beautiful. All ages and paddling levels are welcome!

Farm to Tap
Saturday, April 23 • 4:30-7:30PM
Terrapin Brewery

The folks at Collective Harvest, Watershed UGA, the Upper Oconee Watershed Network, Real Food UGA, the UGA Office of Sustainability and your favorite local chefs are teaming up to bring you sustainably sourced, delicious culinary creations at the most hoppin’ spring spot in town.

Six talented chefs will cook-up creative dishes on-site using fresh produce grown by local family farms, all of which rely on healthy watersheds to stay running. Healthy watersheds means healthy, local produce and happier taste buds for all.

Tickets are limited, so purchase yours today via this link. We’ll have live music, a photo booth, and all the crisp, colorful veggies you can imagine.

RSVP to the Facebook event here.

For more information on any of these events, please email