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Penn Celebrates Earth Week 2022

June 21, 2022
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tour of Penn stormwater facilities

In April, Penn Sustainability supported the first Pan-University Earth Week at Penn guided by an Earth Week Organizing Committee (members listed below). Nearly 50 events were hosted by 27 different schools, centers, student groups, community organizations, and green teams ranging from native tree and fruit planting to litter clean-ups, e-waste drives, and teach-ins. We’ve highlighted some of the most successful Earth Week 2022 events below.

SEAS Clean Up The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences: (SEAS) Green Team partnered with the Philadelphia Canoe Club and Philadelpha Water Department (PWD) to host a very successful stream clean up event. Over 50 volunteers cleaned 10,000-15,000 pounds of trash from Venice Island in Manayunk. 

Earth Week Teach-In: (Earth Week 2022 Teach-In Event Recording - April 18, 2022) Kicking off Earth Week hosted by the Environmental Innovations Initiative and Penn IUR, the Earth Week Teach-In featured nine micro-lectures from Penn faculty based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This interdisciplinary group of scholars and experts showcased the need for all disciplines to address the changing climate and move toward a sustainable future. This event was hosted in person and was also recorded. 

GreenFest: The Student Sustainability Association at Penn (SSAP) hosted their annual Green Fest on earth day. This event highlighted environmentally friendly activities and organizations on campus and in the city through a tabling festival on College Green. 20 groups in this event including the Penn Beekeeping Club, Defenders of Wildlife @ Penn, Penn Food and Wellness Collaborative, Penn Closet, and more. The School of Arts and Sciences hosted a table featuring an Instagram wall with a mural of the first Earth Day logo made of found objects. 

Governing to Net Zero: (https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/events/governing-net-zero/) Visiting Scholar Thomas Hale discussed the next phase of net zero and the governance required to achieve the goals an event hosted by the Kleinman Energy Center titled Governing to Net Zero. This event took place in person at the Fisher Fine Arts Library and was also recorded. 

Penn Park Farm Orchard Workday: Philadelphia Orchard Project and Penn Park Farm hosted a work day at the Penn Orchard located behind the tennis courts in Penn Park. Volunteers planted 100 strawberries and supported with maintenance of other existing fruiting trees and plants. 

E-Waste Drives: Sustainability Coordinators in the Penn Dental School, Perelman School of Medicine, and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences hosted electronic waste drives throughout the week encouraging staff, faculty, and students to properly recycle their e-waste. 

Dining (Q'ulinary Sessions with Quaker Kitchen and Plant Forward): Chef Dan Stern of Quaker Kitchen hosted a private Q'ulinary Session for 25 people in collaboration with Penn Park Farm. Using tatsoi from the farm and sustainably sourced Salmon, the menu for this session was featured for dinner each night the following week from the 18th-21st where students were able to enjoy the locally inspired dish. During Earth Week, Penn Dining also hosted a Plant-Forward Challenge. Each day during lunch and dinner, they focused on different cooking techniques that put the spotlight on plants. 

Wellness at Penn Events: This year Penn Athletics partnered with Penn Park Farm to host several events during Earth Week as part of Wellness at Penn. Events included a Wellness walk, Yoga at Penn Park Farm, and a Farm Volunteer day where students supported with planting, weeding, harvesting, and learning more about low-till farming. 

Green Stormwater Infrastructure Tour: The Water Center at Penn hosted a walking tour of the University of Pennsylvania’s Green Stormwater Infrastructure. This immersive tour highlighted nature-based solutions to urban stormwater runoff on Penn’s campus. 

Earth Week at Penn 2022 provided an opportunity for everyone in the Penn Community to take sustained action around themes of connecting with nature, resilience, and environmental justice. You can find a full list of events that happened throughout the week at X. Visit Penn Sustainability’s website in the spring of 2023 for opportunities to engage with Earth Week at Penn 2023.

Earth Week Organizing Committee Members: • Collin Wang, Student Sustainability Association at Penn • Heidi Wunder, Assistant Director of Communications for Facilities and Real Estate Services • Jabbar Jeffries, Senior Director of Operations for Bon Appetit • Kelley Widerman, Associate Director for Outreach for Environmental Innovations Initiative • Krimo Bokreta, House Director of Kings Court English College House • Laura Barron, Sustainability Analyst for Facilities and Real Estate Services • Nell Pearson, Climate Leaders at Penn • Rodney Robinson, Associate Director for Office of Student Affairs

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