On Saturday, April 21, 2018, East Georgia State College joined the Emanuel County Farmers and Artisans Market in Swainsboro to celebrate Earth Day. Since its beginnings in 1970, April 22 has marked the celebration of Earth Day as a way to increase environmental awareness and environmental protection in the community. During this event, EGSC faculty and staff showcased their initiatives to become a more sustainable and environmentally-minded campus.
Honeybees from EGSC’s Bobcat Apiary were on display during the market and a number of visitors stopped by to see the bees, ask questions about pollinators and pick up information about growing native pollinator-friendly plants, protecting the environment to help pollinators, and using safer pest-management strategies. In 2016, EGSC was named the 14th Bee Campus USA affiliate in the nation and the second in Georgia. The Bee Campus USA program’s goal is to promote pollinator awareness to the community, and outreach events like this one help further the mission of this designation.
“As a Bee Campus USA affiliate and a Tree Campus USA institution, East Georgia State College is committed to increasing public education and appreciation about the importance of cleaning up and preserving the environment and what this means to our lives.” said Dr. Paul Cerpovicz, EGSC professor and the college’s unofficial beekeeper.
EGSC students from the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society held their second annual plant sale in conjunction with the Earth Day activities. They sold plants including coleus, begonias, tomatoes, peppers and different herbs all grown in the EGSC greenhouse without the use of fertilizer, herbicides or pesticides. The plant sale is a fundraising event for the student club and is used to further promote sustainability on EGSC’s campus and help with the establishment of a composter.
“It was really neat to step off campus and promote ways to better the environment through both the plant sale and Dr. Cerpovicz’s honeybee display at the farmer’s market,” said EGSC biology major, Correll Scholar and TriBeta Club member Susanna Hall. “East Georgia has already established various ways to positively effect the environment, but it’s exciting to anticipate what will happen when the college and the community join together to take that impact to another level.”
EGSC’s Tree Campus designation was also on display. This certification is awarded by the Arbor Day Foundation to universities and colleges for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation. EGSC received its initial certification in 2017 and will reapply for renewal in 2018.
In addition to these great activities, information about EGSC, different majors, and how to apply to the college were distributed.
“I am very proud of all the initiatives undertaken by EGSC and its staff to increase sustainability and its awareness,” said Dr. David Chevalier, Biology Program Chair at EGSC. “It is my goal for EGSC to become a leader in sustainable practices for the community.”