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It has been a very busy spring at state facilities across the Bay State in recognition of Earth Day. This is a collection of many of the energy and environmental-themed events across state government and public higher-education that occurred around Earth Day 2017:

At Massasoit Community College in Brockton, the campus’s Earth Day evenearth-month-blog_massasoit-cc2t highlighted Massasoit’s various sustainability initiatives, and featured a water taste test to compare tap, bottled, and bottle-filling station water, a sustainability trivia game wheel, a collection of hard-to-recycle items, and a display from Massasoit’s native pollinator research project. The event was hosted by the Environmental League of Massasoit (ELM) on April 19th.

Bristol Community College in Fall River recognized Earth Day with the earth-month-blog_bristol-ccSeeds of Sustainability Fair on April 19th. The event featured environmental exhibits from local businesses, student clubs and community groups.  Speakers included President Dr. John Sbrega and MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. Students, faculty, staff, and visitors participated in a Climate Change panel discussion, learned about Home Solar Basics, and toured BCC’s new zero net energy Sbrega Health Science Building.

UMass Medical School in Worcester held an Earth Day Celebration on April earth-month-blog_umms20th, bringing together over 30 vendors and 400 campus and community members. In keeping with the event’s theme of water conservation, attendees received a succulent, which requires minimal water. Additionally, UMMS partnered with the Grafton Job Corps to distribute over 300 LED desk lamps and advanced power strips in the campus SWAP Shop (‘Surplus with a Purpose’). Open for a year and a half, the SWAP Shop has reused over 3,500lbs of office materials and lab supplies, totaling more than $50,000 in value.

MassDOT and the MBTA hosted an Employee Earth Day Fair in Boston on April 21st. The event brought in over a dozen organizations and agencies, including DOER, to provide information to employees on energy efficiency and resource conservation, and to highlight alternative transportation options and strategies on reducing environmental impacts at the office, home, and in their communities.

At UMass Amherst’s Earth Day Festival on April 21st, over 30 studearth-month-blog_umaent organizations, community organizations and local businesses participated.  Despite the rain, thousands of campus community and regional community members attended under the giant tent on the Student Union Lawn.  Sustainable UMass provided a “Blender Bike” which enabled attendees to blend their own strawberry banana smoothies with a people-powered bicycle blender, a fun take on clean energy! There was tie-dying, environmental performance art, and the UMass student-run Farmers Market featuring the Student Farm and UMass Permaculture.

Co-organized by UMass Lowell and the Lowell National Historical Park, the earth-month-blog_umlLowell Earth Day Parade and Festival took place on Sunday, April 23 with over 45 community organizations from greater Lowell showcasing the work they do in the arts, nature, and sustainability. There was a downtown Lowell Parade and a Festival afterwards. Hundreds of Lowell residents, families, and children participated in the festivities. Among the organizations at the festival, UMass Lowell highlighted the sustainability initiatives and progress taking place at the university, which has resulted in a 15% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since 2011.

On April 28th, Worcester State University hosted campus cleaearth-month-blog_wsunup and E-Waste Collection events. The WSU Office of Sustainability and the Green Club brought together nearly 30 volunteers that collected trash from streets, fields, and parking lots surrounding campus. Additionally, the annual E-Waste collection event for students, faculty, and staff collected over 2.5 tons of electronics for disposal in an environmentally-responsible manner.

Closing out April, DOER Commissioner Judith Judson attended a ribbon-cutting earth-month-blog_rccceremony of a 937kW solar canopy at Roxbury Community College on April 28th. DOER provided a $600,000 grant to support the solar canopy installation, part of a comprehensive energy efficiency and renewable energy project across the campus. There are six new electric vehicle charging stations and ground source heat pump wells underneath the canopy. The solar canopy will save Roxbury CC more than $5 million over 20 years from reduced electricity costs and the projected Solar Renewable Energy Certificates revenue.

Spanning environmental topics from renewable efficiency, water conservation, and beyond, these Earth Month events showcase the broad spectrum of environmental work taking place at MA state agencies and public higher-education institutions.

DOER would like to thank all of the state partners for their work to lead by example, and for contributing content to this blog.

Written By:

Sustainability Project Coordinator

Trey Gowdy coordinates efficiency and sustainability projects with the Leading By Example Program (LBE) in DOER. LBE meets the ambitious clean energy goals for state government in Executive Order 484. Trey is especially interested in using innovative technologies and outreach strategies to reduce the environmental impact of operations in the Commonwealth. Prior to joining DOER, he worked as the Campus Sustainability Associate at Florida State University. Outside of the office, Trey enjoys running in Boston and traveling to new places.

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