Students go green at Richland’s Earth Day celebration

Geology and environmental science professor Tara Urbanski, left, leads students on a geology walking tour. 

Geology and environmental science professor Tara Urbanski, left, leads students on a geology walking tour. 

Richland college students celebrated Earth Day a bit sooner than the official date of April 22. On April 18 the Richland Student Green Team collaborated with facilities, staff and faculty on a number of campus-related activities.

With the motto “Transforming our Campus into a Sustainable Living Laboratory,” the activities were an effort to raise students’ awareness about sustainability and encourage them to get a deeper understanding of the importance of building a “sustainable local and world community,” according to their flyer. 

Yonathan Trejo, left, and DeShon Lee help clean up Lake Thunderduck.

Yonathan Trejo, left, and DeShon Lee help clean up Lake Thunderduck.

Richland Earth Day activities included presentations about sustainability, energy conservation, recycling and environmentally friendly products. About 20 students donated their time to clean up Lake Thunderduck. 

Students also took part in some exciting tours around campus, including a short walk of the Nursery Education Center guided by a member of Texas Trees Foundation, the LeCroy Monarch Butterfly Tour and Geology Walking Tour hosted by Facilities Sustainability and the Geology and Environmental Science faculty. 

The 2017 Earth Day celebration also offered a chance for students to meet and talk with members of the Student Green Team about scholarships and paid volunteer opportunities. Larrisa Rubio, secretary of the Student Green Team, encouraged her peers to be a part of the community to learn skills and keep the environment healthy. 

“It’s really rewarding to be on the Student Green Team. You learn so many things about organizing, giving, and contribute to helping Richland and the entire environment,” said Rubio. 

Edward Sesay, left, Larissa Rubio and Tony Prieto Loreto help pull trash out of Lake Thunderduck.

Edward Sesay, left, Larissa Rubio and Tony Prieto Loreto help pull trash out of Lake Thunderduck.

Antoni Prieto Loresto, communication manager of the Green Team, shared his experience. “I learned about the lake, the land, the native [plants] and the history of the area, which totally blows me away,” said Loresto. “This is one of the reasons I was encouraged to keep going and keep making Richland greener, better and more environmentally friendly.” 

Sonia Ford, coordinator of Facilities Sustainability, emphasized the Student Green Team benefits including officer leadership training, paid part-time internships and housing scholarships for transferring students. 

Ford urged students to apply for positions in the group and win the scholarships. “I want you to be more than you can be,” said Ford. “It is all about you. You get to take advantages of the resources and the opportunities. You can do it. You can make it happen.”