Miami Shores, Florida – Barry University’s Miami Shores campus celebrated Earth Day on April 7. A coordinated effort among the Earth Day Committee, Office of Mission Engagement and the Quality Improvement Program Committee (QIP), the day began with an Earth Day prayer by Father Cristobal Torres, OP, University Chaplain, and a welcome by President Sister Linda Bevilacqua, OP, PhD.
This year’s theme was “Take the Lead in Sustainability” and the 250 participants had the opportunity to learn about the different ways in which they can care for Earth and champion Barry’s mission.
Highlights this year were the student presentations. Barry’s Student Green Team, mentored by Patricia Ramlow, Chair of the Earth Day Committee, and coached by Nancy Turetsky, in the Office of Mission Engagement, presented on the risk of sea level rise in Florida. The Astronomy, Math and Physics Club made quite an impression with their presentation on how to conserve energy with on-campus air conditioning.
A favorite among participants was the Make Your Own Bag table, where booth visitors learned how to make grocery bags out of used t-shirts. Placed in front of the table, The Plastic Bag Dress received much-deserved attention as it raised awareness on the impact plastic bags have on the environment.
Another new addition this year was the table for the Office of Mission Engagement (OME) and Adrian Dominican Sisters (ADS). With resources ranging from Barry’s Center for Earth Jurisprudence, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (Catholic Higher Ed and Sustainability), the ADS permaculture brochure, the Dominicans at the UN newsletter, the OME-ADS booth was well-attended. Sisters Myra Jackson, OP, and Mary Fran Fleischaker, OP, were present at the table and engaged participants in conversations on Dominican values.
Barry’s Earth Day celebration ended with a Deliberative Dialogue session offered by the Center for Community Service Initiatives. The topic was Industrial Agriculture and Food Access, and Sister Pat Siemen, OP, facilitated a panel discussion formed of community experts, students, faculty, and staff.
Next year, the Office of Mission Engagement, in collaboration with the Center for Earth Jurisprudence, will coordinate an Earth Mini-Conference.
For more information on Barry’s sustainability initiatives, please visit OME’s webpage
http://www.barry.edu/mission-engagement/sustainability/ and stay in touch with Barry on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/barryuniversity