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UMass Medical School’s annual Earth Day celebration is set for Wednesday, April 20, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the Medical School building’s lobbies, both new and old.
This year’s event will feature a wide range of displays about all things green, including fuel-efficient vehicles, locally grown foods, energy-saving light bulbs and more. “We’re fortunate to have a great group of participants coming to help our community become more sustainable,” said Rebecca Chlapowski of the school’s auxiliary services department, who helps coordinate the Earth Day program. “We’ll have some of our returning favorites, and several new displays this year, like drop-off bins for household electronics (see related story). So I encourage everyone to stop in at some point during the day.”
One of the special features of this year’s Earth Day event will be the debut of Growing Green’s iconic mascot and a contest to give it a name. “We wanted to do something that was interactive, and a little fun, to help us spark more interest in our sustainability efforts,” said Melissa Lucas, sustainability and energy efficiency manager at UMMS.
That spark comes in the form of a firefly (pictured at right) developed for the Growing Green program by Brittany Armington, a junior at Montserrat College of Art, and daughter of Mark Armington, the senior director for facilities engineering and construction at UMMS. “We really appreciate Brittany’s support for our sustainability work. She did a wonderful job with the firefly. Now we need a great name to go with it,” Lucas said.
Anyone stopping by the UMMS Sustainability Committee table at Earth Day can enter the contest, suggesting as many names as he or she wishes. The committee will review all the submissions and select the winner. The author of the winning name will receive a gift basket of environmentally friendly products for the home and recognition in the Growing Green e-newsletter and website.