Update – March 19, 2020

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, we are exploring ways to celebrate Earth Day 2020 via online channels and will post details as soon as they are available. Please note that the status of events and activities in April and May is likely to change in the coming days. We will update this page as we receive new information.


Celebrating and strengthening UGA’s commitment to research, teaching, and service focused on healthier people, stronger communities, and a more secure future. UGA Earth Day 2020 includes engaging activities throughout spring 2020 to educate and inspire action. #Commit to… #EarthDayEveryDay

UGA Earth Day 2020 is a collective campus- and community-wide event.

If your organization is hosting a virtual sustainability-themed event during spring 2020, on or off campus, that you would like to have included as part of UGA Earth Day 2020, you may submit it here.

Promotional Resources

  • Earth Day graphics
  • Tag Line: Presented as part of the UGA Earth Day 50th Anniversary celebration.
  • #CommitTo #EarthDayEveryDay


UGA Earth Day Challenge Exhibit

The Earth Day Art Challenge exhibit features artwork from the University of Georgia community focused on connecting with and appreciating the earth, people, or other living creatures during this time of uncertainty, and how this can inspire an even better future

(Re)sourceful Collective

The purpose of (Re)sourceful Collective is to build a virtual community centered around sustainability and creativity. We aim to educate, inspire, and support a more resilient UGA and Athens community amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Themed posts each week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on the UGA Office of Sustainability Facebook and Instagram @sustainable_uga.

Upcoming activities from the (Re)sourceful Collective:

Week1: Self Care and Public Health

(April 6th – 10th)

Tips for self care/mental health

DIY house cleaner

DIY mask making

Week2: Victory Gardening

(April 13th – 17th)

Victory gardens highlight

DIY Compost bin

DIY Raised Bed

Week3: Reclamation and Reuse

(April 20th – 24th)

Why reuse/reclaim?

DIY Clothing Patterns

Plywood Furniture Repair

Week4: (Re)ach Out

(April 27th – May 1st)

Local spotlights

  • (Now – September 27) Digital Exhibition, Altered Landscapes: Photography in the Anthropocene
    • In the photographs gathered here, humanity’s impact on the natural landscape is undeniable, even if human figures are not immediately visible.
    • Georgia Museum of Art, Virtual Gallery
  • The Georgia Review’s 12th Annual Earth Day Celebration 
  • April 14th – Bob Inglis – Climate change and environmental policy
    • Former US Congressman and recipient of the 2015 JFK Profile in Courage Award
    • 3:30-5PM via Zoom, contact Beth Gavrilles for Zoom Link
  • April 21 – Virtual Yoga Under the Stars
    • Join the Office of Sustainability online for yoga instructed by Amelia Haynes
    • 8PM, Facebook Live
  • April 22 – Virtual Earth Day Fair
    • Celebration of campus and community initiatives to advance sustainability at UGA and in the Athens area in a series of posts on Facebook and Instagram.
    • 1PM via OoS Facebook and Instagram
  • April 24 – Virtual Tree Walk Video
    • Video release of a stroll through UGA campus and introduction to the University of Georgia Campus Arboretum initiative by Arboretum Intern, Kendall Busher.
    • 1PM via OoS Facebook and Instagram
  • April 29 – Sustainable UGA Spring 2020 Semester in Review 
    • Celebrate virtually with a gallery of selected art works from the Earth Day 2020 Challenge and a series of 60-second videos from Office of Sustainability interns; posted on the OoS website.



  • CANCELLED: April 22 – Georgia Museum of Natural History Blum Lecture
    • Lynn Faust, author of the UGA Press book “Fireflies, Glow-worms, and Lightning Bugs”
  • CANCELLED: April 22 – Georgia Review Annual Earth Day Lecture
    • Aimee Nezhukumatathil
    • 7PM, State Botanical Garden Chapel
  • ONLINE: April 24 – Campus Arboretum Tree Walk
    • Stroll through North Campus and learn the stories behind its beautiful trees
    • 10AM, starting at the UGA Arch
  • CANCELLED: April 24 – Bike Athens Sustainability-themed Joy Ride 
    • Casual 90-minute sustainability-themed group bike ride, finishing with a social gathering downtown
  • ONLINE:  April 29 – Sustainable UGA Spring 2020 Semester in Review 
    • Celebration of student initiatives to enhance sustainability and quality of life on campus and in the local community
    • 11AM-1PM at UGA Special Collections Library
  • UGA Electric Transit Fleet
    • UGA will soon have the largest electric campus transit fleet in the US with a total of 33 electric buses.  The first electric buses will begin rolling on campus in January 2020.
  • Tate Cafe Consumer Compost Pilot (begins January-May)
    • UGA has been composting organic waste behind the scenes in Tate retail food areas for years, now you can join in too!  Compost bins available in Tate Cafe near The Niche Pizza Company.
  • January 8 – Panel Discussion
    • “Tapping into Community: Craft, Culture and Innovation”
    • A Conversation with Creature Comforts, Allagash, and the Athens Wellbeing Project.
    • 4PM, UGA Studio 225 (225 W. Broad Street Athens, GA)
  • January 15 – CED Faculty Lecture Series
    • Dr. Jack Crowley, The Sustainable University Campus: Experiences from Honduras
    • 4PM, UGA Jackson Street Building, Room 123
  • January 20 – Athens MLK Day of Service
    • Annual celebration in support of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday and commitment to service, with project sites throughout Athens.
    • Sign up to volunteer here.
  • January 21 – Odum School of Ecology Film Screening
    • “Wild Karnatka,” a documentary about wildlife and nature in southern India’s largest state.
    • 7 PM, Ecology Building Auditorium
  • January 25 – Athens Social Justice Symposium
    • Annual student-organized symposium fosters dialogue and interaction between Athens area residents and organizations that are working toward sustainable social change on a local level.
    • 8AM-5PM, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens, 780 Timothy Road, Athens, GA
  • Speak Out for Species – 15th annual Animal Voices Film Festival – Mondays at 7PM in MLC 350
  • February 5 – Chew Crew Work Day
    • Help the Chew Crew remove invasive species from the UGA campus. Make sure to bring water and clothes for outdoor work. See you there.
    • 4PM – 6PM, next to Hull St. parking deck
  • February 6-9 – UGA Integrative Conservation Conference 
    • Connect across boundaries to create more just and innovative solutions to today’s conservation challenges.
  • February 7-8 – Georgia Organics Conference & Expo
    • Fostering a community of farmers and eaters interested in supporting healthier foods, farms, and families
  • February 14 – Arbor Day Ceremony
    • A celebration of the collaboration of our community partners for the purpose of improving the quality of life for Athens Clarke County’s citizens through the planting and maintenance of trees. The Athens Arbor Day Ceremony will consist of backfilling the planning holes of the newly planted trees with soil on a section of the newly constructed Firefly Trail.
    • 2:00 PM, Firefly Trail (between S. Peter St. and Inglewood Ave)
  • February 14 – UGA Climate Standout + Solution Session
    • Participate in conversation around the climate catastrophes happening around the world that are affecting ecosystems, people, health, and humanity as a whole, and learn about the ways that you can make a difference.
    • 12PM-3PM, Tate Center Flagpole
  • February 19 – May 11 – Exhibition: The Georgia Coast: Contested Splendor
    • The artifacts on display in this gallery explore the many facets and interested parties involved in regulating and legislating Coastal Georgia.
    • 8AM – 5PM, Richard B. Russell Special Collections Libraries
  • February 19 – The Sacred Anthropocene: On Religious Interpretations of Planetary Change
    • Dr. Willis Jenkins, Professor of Religion, Ethics, and Environment, University of Virginia
    • 4PM, Miller Learning Center, 275
  • February 21 – Women’s Studies Friday Speaker Series: “Women at the Forefront of Global Solutions: Plastic, Recycling, and Haiti”
    • Dr. Chris J. Cuomo, Professor of Philosophy and Women Studies & Dr. Jenna Jambeck, Professor of Engineering
    • 12:20PM-1:10PM, Miller Learning Center, 150
  • February 21 – UGA Red Clay Conference: Overcoming Toxic Relationships
    • Keynote Speaker: Lois Gibbs, lead activist at Love Canal who later founded the Citizens Clearinghouse for Hazardous Waste
    • Hosted by UGA Environmental Law Association
  • February 21-23 – Art Education and Social Justice Symposium 2020
    • The encounter will focus on the guiding question: How are art and education inspiring, affecting, and promoting social change?
    • All Day, Lamar Dodd School of Art
  • February 26 – USGBC Athens New Year Kickoff
    • Are you interested in getting more involved with the sustainable building world? Join us for an evening where we’ll share about the benefits of a USGBC membership and what’s in store for Georgia in 2020.
    • 6PM-8PM, at Hotel Indigo – 500 College Ave. Athens, Georgia
  • February 26 – College of Environment and Design Lecture: Biophilic Cities: Design for Planetary Health and Human Flourishing
    • Timothy Beatley, Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities, Department of Urban and Environmental Planning, University of Virginia School of Architecture
    • 4:30 PM, Jackson St. Building
  • February 29 – ACC Green Life Expo and Awards 
    • Designed to provide inspiration and the tools needed to help our community members become more sustainable in our everyday lives
    • 10AM-3PM, followed by awards ceremony 5-6PM, at State Botanical Garden of Georgia
  • March 4– Exhibition Opening, Philip Juras: The Art of Conservation
    • Philip Juras (MLA ‘97) makes his living as a painter, dedicating his work to the conservation and care of the natural environment.
    • 5PM, UGA College of Environment and Design, Circle Gallery
  • March 5 – Pollinators and Seed Bomb Workshop 
    • Join staff from Athens Land Trust and the Athens-Clarke County Sustainability Office for an afternoon of adventure, learning about pollinating insects and how to attract them to your yard. Open to ages 5-12.
    • 1:30PM, Sandy Creek Nature Center’s Education & Visitor Center
    • Registration required: Contact Sandy Creek Nature Center at 706-613-3615 for more informationand to register your child.
  • March 7 – Managed Forest Naturalist Walk
    • Join the SCNC staff for a guided walk through the Managed Forest area to see what changes have occurred after thinning trees, prescribedburns and planting new seedlings.
    • 10AM, Sandy Creek Nature Center
  • March 8 – Hike Tour of Birchmore Trail
    • Gary Crider will lead a 2-mile hike at Birchmore Trail in Memorial Park describing the progress and process of invasive plant removal.
    • 2PM, Memorial Park, Birchmore Trail
    • Registration required:Please contact to register.
  • March 11 – Sand County on Campus, North Campus guided walk
    • Join Dorinda Dallmeyer on an environmental and historical tour of North Campus at UGA.
    • 1PM – 3PM, UGA North Campus
  • March 12 – Sand County on Campus, South Campus guided walk
    • Join Dorinda Dallmeyer on an environmental and historical tour of South Campus at UGA.
    • 1PM – 3PM, UGA South Campus
  • March 4- April 30 – Exhibition, Philip Juras: The Art of Conservation
    • Philip Juras (MLA ‘97) makes his living as a painter, dedicating his work to the conservation and care of the natural environment.
    • 9-5:30 PM, UGA College of Environment and Design, Circle Gallery (CLOSED: March 16 – 27)
  • CANCELLED:  Every Thursday in March– Nature Rambles
    • Join the Nature Ramblers and learn more about the natural areas, flora and fauna of the Garden while making newfriends and enjoying the cool, fresh air.
    • 3PM, State Botanical Garden of Georgia
  • CANCELLED:   March 19 – Screening of GreenFire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time
    • 7PM, Athens Regional Library
  • CANCELLED:   March 20 – Hike in Old Growth Forest
    • Please join us for a hike through a scenic 300-acre forest property on prepared bare-dirt foot trails.
    • 9AM- 2PM, Athens Memorial Park
    • Registration required: To register, please contact Walter Cook at 706-424-6748 by March 18th
  • CANCELLED:   March 21 – Falling Shoals Invasive Species Removal
    • Join Oconee River Land Trust (ORLT) for an invasive species removal at the 224-acre Falling Shoals conservation easement, a beautiful property with a hardwood forest and stream that flows to the Oconee River.
    • 10 AM – 1PM, 275 Blue Heron Dr, Athens, GA 30605
    • Registration required: Please contact Dan Crescenzo at 941-321-7113 for more information
  • CANCELLED:   March 21 – Morning Bird Walk
    • Emma Dickinson, long-time birder and president of the Lilly Branch Audubon Society chapter at UGA, will be leading a morning bird walk atthe State Botanical Garden of Georgia
    • 9 AM, State Botanical Garden of Georgia
  • CANCELLED:   March 22 – Prairie Restoration in the Georgia Piedmont
    • Join Walter Bland, ecological restoration expert and owner of Rock Springs Restoration for a tour of the prairie creation site at the State Botanical Garden.
    • 2PM – 4PM, State Botanical Garden of Georgia
  • CANCELLED:  March 25 – Warnell Lecture
    • Dr. Carolyn Finney, Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship between African Americans to the Great Outdoors
    • 3:30PM – 5PM, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, 2-100
  • CANCELLED:   March 27 – Reflections on Sand County Almanac with Dr. Drew Lanham
    • Aldo Leopold’s most famous work, Sand County Almanac provides insight and inspiration to many, including J. Drew Lanham in his own The Home Place.
    • 7 PM – 9PM, Athens Regional Library
  • CANCELLED:   March 28 – Bird Walk with Ornithologist and Author Drew Lanham
    • Please join noted ornithologist and author Drew Lanham for an educational bird walk sponsored by the Oconee Rivers Audubon Society.
    • 8AM – 11AM, State Botanical Garden of Georgia
  • CANCELLED:   March 28 – Drew Lanham meets ALT Youth
    • Ornithologist and author Drew Lanham will meet with Athens Land Trust’s youth program participants at ALT’s Williams Farm for readings from The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature, conversation, and construction of Leopold benches.
    • 11:30 AM, Williams Farm, 235 Northside Drive
    • Registration required: Contact to register
  • CANCELLED:   March 28 – Tallassee Forest Nature Preserve Hike
    • Join Oconee River Land Trust (ORLT) for a morning hike at the Tallassee Forest Nature Preserve.
    • 10AM, Tallassee Forest Nature Preserve, 1600 Tallassee Rd
  • CANCELLED:   March 28 – Bugs, Mammals, and Rivers: Tallassee Forest Event
    • Join Oconee River Land Trust (ORLT) for a morning of activities learning about Georgia’s wild animals, rivers, and butterflies at the Tallassee Forest Nature Preserve.
    • 10AM, Tallassee Forest Nature Preserve, 1600 Tallassee Rd
  • CANCELLED:   March 29 – Encountering Aldo Leopold in a Georgia Piedmont Forest
    • A hike that combines an appreciation of Georgia’s early spring wildflowers with readings and reflections from Leopold’s Sand County Almanac.
    • 8AM – 11AM, State Botanical Garden of Georgia
    • Registration required: Contact Linda Chafin at 706-548-1697 or
  • CANCELLED:   March 31 – Outdoor Rec & Sustainability Lecture
    • David Hutchinson & Shari Galiardi, Freedom in a Can: Finding Sustainability in 72 Square Feet. An engaging presentation on charting your own career course while engaging with the outdoors
    • Miller Learning Center (MLC), rm. 248
  • CANCELLED:    Interdisciplinary Sustainability “Teach In” (throughout April)
    • Faculty from multiple disciplines will open academic classes to the public as an informal month-long “teach-in” on current sustainability issues.
  • POSTPONED:  April 4 – State Botanical Garden Plant Sale 
    • Purchase perennials, herbs, vegetables, fruits, annuals, shrubs, trees, and tropicals.
    • 8:00AM-2:00PM, State Botanical Garden of Georgia
  • POSTPONED: (April 4 – September 6) – Exhibition, Sarah Cameron Sunde: A Durational Performance with the Sea
    • A time-based series of performances and video art works spanning seven years and six continents.
    • Georgia Museum of Art
    • This exhibition has been rescheduled for fall semester, dates TBA
  • CANCELLED:   April 7 – 35th Annual Odum Lecture: Going the Wrong Way on Cultural Eutrophication
    • JoAnn Burkholder, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Applied Ecology and Director
    • 3:30PM-4:30PM, Ecology Building
  • CANCELLED:    April 9 – Spring 2020 Sustainability Networking Night
    • Gather with students and professionals in sustainability fields for informal networking and an opportunity to build relationships, create collaborations, and spark innovation. Co-hosted by UGA Graduate School, Terry College MBA B-Collaborative, and the Office of Sustainability.
    • 5-7 PM, Creature Comforts Brewing Company
  • POSTPONED: April 11 – River Rendezvous 
    • Community education and monitoring event sponsored by the Upper Oconee Watershed Network (UOWN)
    • 9:00AM, Sandy Creek Nature Center
  • POSTPONED: April 11 – Plantapalooza
    • Three University of Georgia units put on one big plant sale, held on Saturday, April 11, at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, the Trial Gardens at UGA (1030 W. Green Street), and the UGA Horticulture Club (near the intersection of Riverbend and College Station roads).
    • 8:00AM to 2:00PM, State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Trial Gardens, & UGA Horticulture Greenhouses
  • POSTPONED:  April 15 – UGA Pollinator Count
    • Help document pollinators on the UGA Campus in support of UGA’s Bee Campus USA Certification.
    • Choose your favorite pollinator on campus and spend 15 minutes counting and documenting what you see.  Details coming soon.
  • POSTPONED: April 16 – Willson Center for Humanities and Arts Global Georgia Initiative / Odum Environmental Ethics Lecture
    • Pulitzer Prize-winning environmental historian Jack Davis
  • CANCELLED:  April 13-17 – Athens Start-Up Week
    • Life’s a Pitch Competition (sustainability-themed challenge and student pitch competition)
    • 5PM-8PM, Studio 255 (UGA Student Center for Entrepreneurship, 225 W. Broad St, Athens.)
  • CANCELLED:  April 18 – UGA G-Day Game
    • Solar-powered Sanford Stadium, thanks to a partnership with Athletic Association and Georgia Power, plus sustainability-themed STEM-zone activities at the intra-squad game where Red vs Black = Green!
  • CANCELLED:  April 20 – Screening of “Cultivating the Wild,” a new documentary film examining the enduring legacy of naturalist William Bartram
    • Film begins at 6, followed Q&A session at 7 with artist Philip Juras and producer Dorinda Dallmeyer. Reception will follow in honor of William Bartram’s 281st birthday. Free and open to the public.
    • 6PM – 8PM, UGA Special Collections Library, Second floor Auditorium
  • CANCELLED:    April 23 – UGArden SxSM
    • Celebration of music, food, and community at UGArden
    • 5:00 to 8:00PM, UGArden lower barn
  • ONLINE: April 21 – Yoga Under the Stars
    • Outdoor evening yoga, free to all
    • 8PM, UGA Myers Quad
  • CANCELLED:   April 22 – You are There! Georgia’s First Earth Day – A little history, a little theater, a little fun
    • Join the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies as we mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day with a pop-up exhibit of Earth Day historical materials, a dramatic performance of Georgia Governor Carl Sanders’ 1970 Earth Day speech by local actor Skip Hulett, and a lecture by historian Dr. Brian Drake, “What’s Red and Black and Green All Over? UGA’s First Earth Day.”
    • 12-1PM, UGA Russell Special Collections Building, rm. 277
  • CANCELLED:  April 22 – UGA Earth Day 2020 – Powered by the Sun
    • To celebrate Earth Day, the entire main campus will be powered by the sun, thanks to a partnership with the Office of the President and Georgia Power.
  • ONLINE: April 22 – UGA Earth Day 2020 Fair
    • Celebration of campus and community initiatives to advance sustainability at UGA and in the Athens area, hosted by Student Government Association, Family and Consumer Sciences, and the Office of Sustainability
    • 10AM-1PM, Tate Plaza, North Lawn, and MLC Lawn
History of Earth Day at the University of Georgia

The first Earth Day took place in 1970 in response to growing awareness of, and alarm over, the environmental crisis in the U.S., including air and water pollution that were devastating natural resources, threats to wildlife from pesticide use and habitat degradation, and the health risks from exposure to toxic substances. Rallies and demonstrations, as well as teach-ins at schools, colleges and universities—including the University of Georgia—took place across the country. Within a year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was established and Congress had passed the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.

Despite the immense gains in environmental protection that have occurred since the first Earth Day, we are again facing an environmental crisis that is threatening human health and safety worldwide. Climate change, habitat destruction, and pollution are fueling concerns about environmental justice, the loss of biodiversity, threats to food and water security, increasing conflict driven by resource scarcity, and the spread of plant, animal and human diseases.

Earth Day 2020 is an important opportunity to celebrate and strengthen UGA’s commitment to research, teaching and service focused on healthier people, a more secure future, and stronger communities. Maintaining viable land and waterways, ensuring a dependable food supply, improving public health, finding solutions to deadly diseases, and revitalizing communities—all of these rely on protecting our environment.

Read More


Commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the first Earth Day

Inspired by witnessing the environmental disaster caused by a massive oil spill off Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1969, Senator Gaylord Nelson conceived Earth Day as a way to harness growing public consciousness about pollution to put environmental protection on the national political agenda. UGA students and faculty participated by hosting a university-wide day of teach-ins.

Educate the UGA community about sustainability challenges and solutions

Schools and colleges across campus will hold talks and workshops by faculty, alumni experts, and invited speakers with particular relevance to their own disciplinary areas. During the month of April, faculty from multiple disciplines will open academic classes to the public as an informal month-long “teach-in” on current sustainability issues.

Promote civic engagement and action to address sustainability and environmental issues

Schools, colleges, and community partners will bring awareness to grand challenges with particular relevance to UGA and the Athens community, including environmental justice, sustainable food systems, the impacts of climate change, and more.

Provide tangible opportunities to address global challenges locally

In conjunction with local government and community partners, Earth Day 2020 includes hands-on volunteer opportunities to address global challenges through local solutions.


Earth Day 2020 is a campus- and community-wide event made possible through valued partnerships and committed efforts of many.