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Earth Day Reflection by Dr. Patrick Krantz

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Posted on Thursday, March 30, 2023

In preparation of Earth Day on April 22, Westminster College celebrates its roots, deeply planted in protecting and appreciating the Earth. With a pillar of its mission founded in helping students "develop and demonstrate moral and ethical commitments to neighbor, society, and the natural world consistent with the understanding of self," we hope members of our Titan community will make an effort with us to continue to learn and grow closer to the environment and our impact, as humans, on it.

This month, we tapped into our resident resource, Dr. Patrick Krantz, associate professor and Director of the Outdoor Laboratory at Westminster, who shares ways everyone can act in celebration of Earth Day (and every day) this year:

  1. Begin your gardening strategy this year by taking advantage of the wide variety of native plants available to you at your local nursery. I love native plants and you know who else does - native pollinators!
  2. Attend a local Earth Day event. Many local parks and municipalities host worthy events. For example, the City of Hermitage and Shenango River Watchers are hosting an Earth Day Festival from 12 – 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 22 at Linden Point. Or, if you are one of our neighbors from across the border in Youngstown, you can celebrate Earth Day by helping to clean up Bears Den Run in Mill Creek MetroParks from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. There are many opportunities, far too many to list here, but the important take away is that you can get involved locally!
  3. Don’t feel like driving somewhere and want to have an impact even closer to home? Recent high winds and rains toppled trash cans, dropped branches, and flooded local tributaries. A stroll around your neighborhood will reveal a new layer of freshly planted litter. Flooding often results in storm drains that have jumped banks and there are opportunities for all of us to compete to collect the greatest number of plastic bottles.
  4. A favorite activity of mine happens to be building bird boxes with my students. A simple online search for bluebird box plans will reveal many options. These can be a fun project with a young person in your life who needs to learn how to use the correct end of a hammer – an ever more frequently lost skill. Providing nesting cavities for native birds can help offset the negative impacts of invasive species and habitat loss.
  5. Finally, not able to venture out, or, you’re more of a tech kind of person? Well, there’s an app for that – seriously – there are many apps that you can use to support environmentally important, sustainable, research related to climate change. For example, a colleague has just recommended a great community science website and app from BudBurst. Becoming a community scientist means that you can contribute to the data being collected all around the world. This important information helps scientists identify and track the impact of climate change. There are apps for about every kind of critter and green thing. Find your niche and start contributing today!

Learn more about the Center for the Environment and how the Titan community is helping sustain and protect our planet on the basis of learning.