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To celebrate Earth Week, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is hosting a variety of events and activities centered around sustainability, social justice and improving the world in which we live. 

 Set to run from Saturday, April 15 to Friday, April 28, the events scheduled provide ample opportunity for students, faculty staff and community members to learn and engage. 

 The goal of celebrating Earth Week at UW Oshkosh is to educate and encourage participation in hopes that individuals will take action, be more mindful and make changes in their daily life and communities. 

Organizers hope everyone will take a moment to attend at least one of the events, discover environmental, sustainability and/or social justice issues that resonate with them and get involved in working toward a solution. 

 Workshops and presentations 

  •  Saturday, April 15: Earth Week kicks off with a workshop on heirloom apple tree grafting and scionwood exchange in the Sage Hall atrium from 2 to 5 p.m. Those interested in learning how to make new apple trees or those with wood to exchange with other fruit tree enthusiasts are encouraged to attend. 
  • Wednesday, April 19: Gay Penguins and Genderqueer Fungi: Nonbinariness Beyond the Human from 2 to 3 p.m. in Sage 3224. The discussion, led by Misty McPhee, associate professor of environmental studies, will focus on the range of gender and sexual expression in the nonhuman world. Co-sponsored by the Women and Gender Studies Speaker Series and Social Justice Week. 
  • Tuesday, April 25: Dawn Moneyham presents, Reestablishing Connections: Utilizing Indigenous Culture for Addressing the Climate Crisis from 9:40 to 11:10 a.m. in Sage 1216. The conversation is about  reconnecting individuals with the earth and acknowledging the abundance of natural resources available to us. Co-sponsored by the Inter-Tribal Student Coalition. 
  • Tuesday, April 25: Learn about the sustainability certificates that UWO has to offer and hear presentations by the first graduates of the certificate program in Sage 2224 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

    Ken Leinbach

  • Thursday, April 27: The Earth Week Keynote presentation will be given by Ken Leinbach, founder of the Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee, from 5 to 8 p.m. in Sage 1210. In his presentation titled, It’s Kinda Fun to Do the Impossible: Finding Abundance in Urban Communities, Leinbach will discuss the rags-to-riches story of how the Urban Ecology Center grew from a double-wide trailer in a high-crime park into a global education model fostering ecological understanding as inspiration for change. The possibility of Oshkosh building its own such center will be up for discussion as well. The Sustainability Institute for Regional Transformations, sociology department and Wildlife Conservation Club all serve as co-sponsors for the event. 

Film screenings 

A number of film screenings and discussions are scheduled throughout the week, with topics centered around a variety of environmental, sustainability and social justice issues. 

  •  Tuesday, April 18:  All That Breathes in Sage 1210 at 6:30 p.m. Follow two brothers who run a bird hospital dedicated to rescuing injured black kites, a staple in the skies of New Delhi, India. Co-presented by the International Film Series and hosted by Adam Diller, UWO radio TV film assistant professor. 
  • Wednesday, April 19: The Chocolate War in Sage 1214 from 5 to 7 p.m. A documentary that sheds a light on child slavery in the cocoa and chocolate industry. Co-presented with Social Justice Week. 
  • Monday, April 24: True Cost in Sage 1214 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. A story about the clothes we wear, the people who make them and the impact the industry is having on the world. 

Hands-on events 

For those who are interested in getting their hands dirty, there are events planned for participants to get outside, get moving and start making a difference.

  • Saturday, April 22: From 9 a.m. to noon, help clean up the UWO Community Garden and prepare for warmer weather. Volunteers will assist with planting and mulching around campus, or participate in a nature walk and pick up trash in the process. Check-in is at 8:30 a.m. outside Kolf Sports Center near the tennis courts. Register here. 
  • Wednesday, April 26: Students will be able to get their bicycles tuned up at the Bike Repair Fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Reeve Union Concourse. Minor tune-ups and repairs are free, additional work will be referred to Winnebago Bicycle in downtown Oshkosh. 
  • Friday, April 28: Observe Arbor Day with a brief ceremony on UWO’s commitment to planting trees through Tree Campus Higher Education membership and plant an oak tree to replace one that was lost last year.  

Free School 

Free School, created from the recognition that education should be available and affordable for everyone, is a fun day of learning for all ages where admission is free.  

Hosted by the Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC), the event is set to take place on Saturday, April 22 from 1-5 p.m. on the third floor of Sage Hall. The theme this year is environmental awareness in honor of Earth Day. 

Free School offers a wide variety of different activities and classes to choose from, and there are offerings for all ages to learn, participate and engage.  

From a Tae Kwon Do and self-defense class, to a puppet show, to learning about gardening or active transportation options around Oshkosh and even meeting Fran, the great horned owl – there is a class or activity available for everyone. See the full Free School schedule here. 

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