Eco-Fair Celebrates Sustainability and Earth Week
Aaron Krish

In celebration of Earth Week, the Environmental Educators and Naturalists Association will be holding the annual Eco-Fair, featuring a variety of food, music and environmentally friendly activities in the Laird Room Thursday, April 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

“The goal is to remind people how important the planet is and to celebrate the Earth with food and music,” said President of EENA, Marie Fargo. “It originally started in the 1970s and has been going on every year since. It’s really exciting to be part of such a great tradition.”

There are a variety of activities going on at the Eco-Fair this year. Two bikes and a kayak will be raffled off, as well as a raffle with various gift certificates and items from local businesses. Sustainable food will also be served to match the theme.

“We have a lot of student organizations involved that are doing great things both on campus and in the community, and this is their time to share their programs and activities with a broad audience,” Fargo said. “This is a great event to showcase UWSP’s commitment to sustainability.”

With local farmers donating fresh food, the Yoga Club giving sessions and the Raptor Education Group coming from Antigo to show live birds like owls and hawks, Fargo explains that it should be a fun event for all and is free and open to the public.

“We are encouraging people to bring their instruments to get a jam session going. We will also have a ‘freecycle’ table where people can bring in an item they don’t want anymore and exchange it for something else,” Fargo said.

Senior environmental education and interpretation major Marcus Nack will also be participating in the event, promoting the conservation of grasslands to help increase populations of prairie chickens.

“I just want people to think about our environment and how sustainability can change the world,” Nack said. “I’m excited to see students get involved in a real-life situation other than in the classroom.”

As a whole, the group focuses on educating and inspiring others to become more aware of the natural world. Programs they put on throughout the year include nature walks through Schmeeckle, bird feeder building and Leave-No-Trace trainings.

“We welcome anyone who is interested in teaching others about nature and the environment,” Fargo said. “We have education, environmental policy and wildlife majors as well.”

The group is also sponsoring the Eco-Fair Sunstock, a concert being held on Wednesday, April 24 at 7:00 p.m. in the DUC Encore. The Evergreen Grass Band and Hi-Matics will be playing.

“I love watching everyone interact at Eco-Fair. It’s an awesome to see so many caring, enthusiastic people come together to celebrate Earth Week,” Fargo said. “I hope everyone leaves with a better appreciation for the amazing things our campus organizations are doing and for the great leaps the UWSP campus has taken to become more sustainable and gain a greater interest and appreciation of the Earth.”