Arkansas State University celebrates Earth Day

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - It's "Paint the Town Green Week" and Arkansas State University is joining forces  with the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce Environment Committee and local organizations to celebrate Earth Day.

Thursday is the fourth annual Earth Day events at ASU. Assistant Professor of Environmental Biology and Director of the Eco toxicology Research Facility at ASU Dr. Jennifer Bouldin says, they hold this event every year for students on and off campus. "We feel like a lot of the environmental effort is a part of education and that's one of our initiatives at ASU. Bringing local schools in, we feel like it's important to reach out to the community. We have very good recycling efforts on the ASU campus. It helps educate our students, as well as the faculty and staff. And part of the environmental outreach is to educate the local elementary and high school children, as well."

Melinda Smith is a teacher with the Health and Wellness Environmental Studies magnet school in Jonesboro, and says around 70 students from the Health and Wellness school participated in the day's activities. "They get to display the things that they're doing. We actually brought some plants that they planted so you get to see what they've done and get to share it with the community."

Sixth grade student Audrey Hernandez says she looks forward to participating in Earth Day at ASU, "All of my friends are here so I get to celebrate with them and it's really fun to be around here because there's like earth things, the other schools. We can take some of the things that they do to our school."

Audrey is even responsible for getting others to jump on board the green movement. "I encouraged my aunt, uncle and their family to start recycling and every week they have blue bags filled with paper and everything."

Melinda says, as a teacher, it's thrilling for her students to get a chance to see what other kids their own age are doing. "They get to see what other kids are doing in different schools, what their efforts are on recycling. They get to see, I mean there are junior kids out here, high school kids out here. There are businesses here that teach sustainability and environmental awareness. So, they get to see it's just not a kid thing, but a bigger community thing."

Audrey says she's going to keep telling people to respect the earth and practice being environmentally friendly. "We do this so we can stop cutting trees and wasting and to help where our trash is, to reduce it."

Representatives from such organizations as Suddenlink were on hand to speak to students about their e-cycling program. In addition, representatives from the Crowley's Ridge Nature Center and even Rick Christian from the Jonesboro Radio Group participated in the activities.

For more information about this event, log onto their website.

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.