Earth Week at West Chester: Sidewalk Chalk, Museum Exhibit & More

Sidewalk ChalkImage by Geri Cleveland

WEST CHESTER, PA — The entire West Chester community is invited to Chalk the Walk with the borough mayor on Earth Day, this Thursday, April 22 (rain date Friday, April 23), in one of the many events West Chester University is hosting for Earth Week, April 19 to 25.

The chalking event is part of an Earth Day Art Stroll and Digital Art Festival that is being organized by members of the West Chester Green Team and students in a class taught by Megan Schraedley, assistant professor of communications and media.

West Chester Borough Mayor Jordan Norley, who declared April 2021 as Earth Month in the borough, will turn out on Thursday to help Schraedley and her students as they create environmentally themed messages and sidewalk art in chalk along High Street throughout the borough. He and his children will be at Philips Memorial Building (High Street at University Avenue) on Thursday, April 22, at 11 a.m. to join campus members. Chalking takes place between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. at various borough locations.

Organized primarily by the University’s Office of Sustainability, these Earth Week events are free and open to the public. Visit the Office of Sustainability’s website to conveniently register for one or more of these programs. A complete schedule appears at the end of this article.

Two professors are opening their classes this week for special environmental programs.

On Tuesday, April 20, Paul Morgan, professor of educational foundations and policy studies, will host a virtual tour of the Toucan Rescue Ranch located in Costa Rica, from 9:30 to 11 a.m.

On Thursday, April 22, Ashlie Delshad, associate professor of political science, hosts Environmental Policy Making in Pennsylvania with State Representative Dianne Herrin from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Join the Zoom conversation.

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Rep. Herrin, former West Chester Borough mayor, will also speak at the Plastic-Free Chester County Panel Discussion on Wednesday, April 21, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. This program is coordinated by WCU’s Office of Sustainability, the West Chester Green Team, and members of the Chester County Environment Alliance.

Earth Day Museum Exhibit

The long-anticipated opening of the Earth Day at 50: Lessons for a Sustainable Future exhibit in the WCU Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology is finally here! For Earth Week 2021, small, pre-arranged, Covid-safe tours will be offered on Thursday, April 22, during the day. To reserve a spot, call 610-436-2247 or email [email protected]. A virtual tour will also open on April 22.

Originally scheduled to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in April 2020, the exhibit was postponed due to the pandemic.

The exhibition’s centerpiece is a towering, two-story Tree of Life crafted from reclaimed and reused materials including 1,970 plastic bag “leaves.” That number represents the year of the first Earth Day celebration. Theatre students created the tree from reclaimed and reused materials and several participated in the installation of the tree’s trunk last November.

Other features are dioramas utilizing taxidermy specimens from the Delaware Museum of Natural History; an intriguing “anti-Cabinet of Curiosities” where visitors can glimpse products made from protected wildlife confiscated by U.S. Customs; an interactive carbon footprint calculator designed by students; artifacts from the original Earth Day; and artwork from acclaimed Native American artist-activists Jaida Grey Eagle, Christi Belcourt, and Isaac Murdoch.

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Exploring past and present environmental activism, the reality of the current global climate crisis, and sustainable practices for a livable future, the exhibit demonstrates that Earth Day is an empowering reminder that positive actions in daily life can combat the ongoing environmental crisis that humans have created. There is additional information about the exhibit on the museum website.

Designed by 15 undergraduate and graduate museum studies students under museum director Michael A. Di Giovine, associate professor of anthropology, the exhibition is supported by the College of the Sciences and Mathematics, the Office of Sustainability, the Institute on Race and Ethnic Studies, the West Chester Green Team/Sierra Club, and many community members.

Brandywine Project Sustainability Workshop

There are still seats available in the third online Brandywine Project Sustainability Workshop on Friday, April 23, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. While this workshop will focus on the role of staff members in supporting the University’s sustainability commitments, it’s appropriate for WCU faculty and students as well.

Beginning at 11 a.m., the focus will turn to the launch of the Green Office Program. Participants can tune in for that segment or the entire workshop.

For more information, contact Amy Maxcy in the Office of Sustainability: [email protected] or 610-436-2736.

Earth Week 2021 at WCU

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated. Guests at in-person events are required to wear and maintain social distancing. Visit the Office of Sustainability’s website to conveniently register for one or more of these programs.

Tuesday, April 20

Wednesday, April 21

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Thursday, April 22: Earth Day

Friday, April 23

  • Brandywine Project Sustainability Workshop. 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Contact Amy Maxcy: [email protected] or 610-436-2736.

Saturday and Sunday, April 24 and 25

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