On Friday April 21st, UC Clermont biology professor Christopher Green and other professors organized UCC’s tradition of inviting Batavia Elementary School’s second graders to come and learn about nature and wildlife in honor of Earth Day.
The school invited Raptors Inc. and Cool Critters Outreach to bring some birds and reptiles to show to the elementary students. Raptors Inc. performed a bird show in Snyder for the kids. Cool Critters Outreach brought in creepy crawlies like the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach, and cute and cuddly animals like the hedgehog. They even brought in a large snake named Princess Leia for the students to see (and for volunteers to hold).
When the students walked onto the campus, there were many tables of activities for them to engage. There was a table with chalk so they could write on the ground. The kids enjoyed decorating the campus and the UC Clermont students enjoyed walking to class, trying not to step on their art. Professor Jennifer Mansfield ran a table where the students could decorate their own bird houses, and even had a game for them to learn the different types of birds around the area. Professor and TLC Science Instructional Specialist Mel Mpagi manned a table where he talked about trees and even gave away saplings of dogwood and sugar maple. Professor Mathis ran a table where microbiology students and Biology Club students took the kids on a hike around campus. On this hike, the kids would try to find all of the items on their checklist like our invasive honeysuckle or the maple trees that were tapped in previous years. There was also a park ranger there to teach the kids the importance of wearing life jackets. Inside of Peter Jones, UC Clermont students were painting some of the children’s faces while they waited to see the bird show and the Cool Critters table.
Earth Day is a time for people to celebrate the planet and spread awareness of some of the environmental issues we currently face: landfills, littering, and pollution are just some of many challenges we face. To that end, UC Clermont also offers classes for Pre-Environmental Studies.
The March for Science, held in Washington DC and other cities around the world, was also on Earth Day as well this year. At such events, advocates spread awareness of the importance of science and how it can help solve some of our most pressing problems.
With all of the recent political controversy over climate change and the EPA, UC Clermont still celebrated the holiday and set aside the debates to take time to appreciate the Earth and what is has given us and what we can do to preserve it for future generations.