Georgia Highlands College‘s third Annual Earth Day was held in the courtyard of the Paulding Campus on Monday, April 22, under a sunny blue sky; hosted by Green Highlands, the student driven organization committed to spreading awareness of Earth conservation and preservation.
“I am so proud of my students," said Lecturer of Communication Alexandra MacMurdo, the Faculty Advisor for Green Highlands. "Without their passion and energy, this event simply could not have been accomplished at the scale we achieved this year. I am deeply grateful for their commitment to and execution of our Earth Day event. Most notably I would like to recognize Austin Wolfschlag, Vice President of Green Highlands Paulding, and Dave Martinez, President of Brother 2 Brother, for all their hard work.”
It was the highest attendance to date, with at least 250 GHC students, faculty, staff, and administration in attendance. Interim President Dr. Renva Watterson, Dr. Cathy Ledbetter, GHC Paulding Campus Dean, Rob Whitaker, Vice President of Finance & Administration, and Dana Davis, Director of College Relations all were there to support this event.
Paulding County Commission Chairman David Austin read the Earth Day proclamation. Several key people at GHC Paulding’s Earth Day represented Paulding County with pride, including Dallas Mayor Boyd Austin, Paulding County Sherriff Gary Gulledge, Tommy Leonard, Executive Director of Keep Paulding Beautiful, Mary Carol Sheffield, Coordinator for the Paulding County UGA Cooperative Extension and several members of Paulding County Fire & Rescue along with their Chief Mike Earwood.
GHC was honored to have representation at the Federal level, as Seth Coker of Senator Saxby Chambliss’ office and Amy Turner of Senator Johnny Isakson’s office were in attendance.
The special Key Note speaker was Henry Slack, a manager for the Environmental Protection Agency. Mr. Slack has worked for the EPA for 22 years and gave the audience an overview on the history and mission of the EPA and what we can all do to make our world a greener place. Mr. Slack rides his bicycle 8 miles to work every day as part of his commitment to the Earth.
Corporate sponsors included Starbucks, who donated coffee; United Parcel Service, who came with their special hydraulic hybrid delivery truck driven by Brian Wolfschlag, Home Depot, Hardy Ford (who brought a hybrid vehicle) and Sam's Club. The UGA Master Gardeners helped spread awareness about water conservation and composting, Spreading Oaks Farms shared organic produce, and Elrod's Garden Center generously supplied beautiful juniper topiaries and other trees for the event. Creekside Pines generously donated seedlings for people to plant in honor of Earth Day. Many other vendors shared their products and information, all which made the event a great success.
Live music by Taylor Stringfield and the Sons of Alice band entertained the guests who enjoyed food from Johnny’s Barbecue.
Lucky students won Starbucks gift cards for bringing in the most recycling in Professor MacMurdo’s contest. A fitting gift as Starbucks is a model example of a “green” company.
Please join GHC and Green Highlands next year for this fun, informative event. For more information, please contact Alexandra MacMurdo, MA, MBA Lecturer of Communication at 678-946-1015 or firstname.lastname@example.org.