The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

City commemorates worldly holiday

Chris Kemp

A wide range of UW-Eau Claire students and faculty, in addition to local businesses and community groups, helped cap off the 35th annual Earth Week with a celebration at Owen Park Saturday.

Students and faculty from the biology, geography, nursing and communication and journalism departments, as well as the Center for Service-Learning, participated in the event, which also featured live music, local food and educational activities.

Adam Kaderabek, a 2004 Eau Claire graduate and AmeriCorps member, helped organize the event and said it turned out to be a huge success.

“It was a huge concerted effort from just a bunch of great people,” said Kaderabek, who put together an art contest for local elementary- and middle-school children. “It was really the idea of bringing people together and getting some education and information out there.”

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He said organizers sent out mailings to many private and non-profit organizations, and the organizations that came tended to be environmentally-friendly.

Some community groups, such as the Boys and Girls Club, also set-up booths, which required a small fee for the space, Kaderabeck said.

“We really wanted to make this a community-based event,” he said.

Senior biology major Penny Every said she came out to Saturday’s event to show her support for Earth Day activities.

“I like this kind of thing,” Every said. “I think it’s very important because people need to know what’s going on.”

Kaderabek said the turnout was excellent despite cool temperatures. Although there was no way of knowing the exact number of how many people showed up, he said the event most likely surpassed his goal of 500.

“I think the biggest goal is to make sure that everyone has a real good time and gets their fill of everything they can while they’re here,” Kaderabek said. “We’re just hoping to have a highly successful event that can lay the groundwork and raise funds and raise the name to make sure that every year it’s just consistently getting better.”

In an April 12 meeting, the Eau Claire City Council officially proclaimed Earth Day in the city. In Wisconsin, Earth Day is especially significant because it was originated by former Wisconsin governor and U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson.

Kaderabek said he was also pleased to see students helping out to fulfill Service-Learning requirements.

“I think that’s a really great sign of some of the student body,” he said. “I know that this year Service-Learning in particular has caught a lot of heat and been a really touchy issue, so it’s great to see that there’s an option that … there’s no conflict about.”

As part of Earth Week, four presenters, including three professors, spoke at the university about ongoing energy problems Wednesday afternoon in Davies Center.

The quartet spoke about topics including Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, coal production and economic and political ramifications of United States’ energy policy.

Senior Lisa Huftel said the presentation was an excellent addition to the Earth Week festivities.

“I walked away knowing a lot more information on the subject (than) before I walked into the room,” she said. “I think that the people that were there thought it was successful. Earth week shouldn’t be celebrated just for one week or just for one day. We need to treat the environment with respect every second of every day of our lives.”

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City commemorates worldly holiday