KU News Release

April 16, 2010
Contact: Jill Jess, University Relations, (785) 864-8858

Chancellor signs Earth Day proclamation; KU takes steps to improve sustainability

LAWRENCE — University of Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little today signed a proclamation declaring April 22 as Earth Day at KU. The chancellor also is calling on the campus community to improve KU’s sustainability. The proclamation is one of a series of events at KU celebrating Earth Day.

Gray-Little said KU has a proud history of environmental stewardship and a strong record of research supporting sustainability.

“Within the past 15 years, students established one of the first green fees in the nation, played a critical role in establishing the Center for Sustainability and initiated and implemented important campus efforts like the KU Student Rain Garden and the Potter Lake Project,” the proclamation states.

KU has launched an effort to reduce its environmental footprint. An energy performance contract is expected to save $2 million annually in energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 31 million pounds, the equivalent of taking nearly 2,900 cars off the road. New buildings at the university are being built to the highest standards of energy efficiency.

Events scheduled for Earth Day at KU include

Wescoe’s Waste: In collaboration with KU Recycling, students in an environmental studies course will conduct a waste audit of Wescoe Hall from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Stauffer-Flint Hall lawn. In addition to sorting through garbage to determine how much “trash” is actually recyclable, KU Recycling will provide information about junk mail reduction and the new printer cartridge recycling services on campus.

Earth Day Field Day: Student Union Activities will provide a break from the day to enjoy yard games, an environmental information fair and free popcorn and wildflowers. Activities will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Kansas Union plaza.

Earth Day Lecture: Nancy Langston, professor of environmental studies and forestry and wildlife ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will present the Earth Day lecture at 7:30 p.m. at the Big 12 Room in the Kansas Union. The lecture, titled “The Struggle for a Healthy Environment: the Legacies of Rachel Carson and Earth Day,” will be followed by a signing for Langston’s book, “Toxic Bodies: Hormone Disruptors and the Legacy of DES.”

The Center for Sustainability will publish “CAP-KU: Creating a Climate Action Plan for the University of Kansas” on Earth Day. The plan was originated in a course that completed a greenhouse gas inventory for the Lawrence campus and provided recommendations for reducing campus emissions. The document identifies campus emission sources, documents efforts to address the impact of the emissions and proposes ways to reduce them. The full report will be available at www.sustainability.ku.edu/CAP-KU/.

Gray-Little said KU will continue to look for new ways to expand sustainable practices and reduce its environmental impact.

“To continue our progress, this fall we will begin developing a comprehensive plan for enhancing sustainability at the university,” the proclamation states. “We will bring together students, faculty and staff to assess our current status, develop strategies for minimizing our environmental and social impacts and establish a system for measuring our progress as we strive to create a more sustainable campus.”

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

kunews@ku.edu | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045

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