By Kristin Rover
The University of Cincinnati Clermont College campus was transformed into a nature wonderland April 22 for the annual Earth Day celebration.
Batavia Elementary School students who came to the event were able to see snakes, owls and porcupines, a bird show, learn about the earth, and watch demonstrations from experts in the environmental field.
Dr. Chris Green, an assistant professor at UC Clermont who helps organize the event, said the college has been holding the Earth Day celebration at the college for five years.
“We wanted to help the community and we loved working with the kids,” Green said.
He said the goal with the event is to educate students about nature, wildlife and safety.
To achieve this goal, several organizations and individuals set up stations throughout the campus, and students were able to interact and ask questions at each of the stations.
Participants included Cool Critters Outreach, the Cincinnati Zoo, Fabulous Faces by Jen, Raptor Inc., the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and more.
UC Clermont faculty and students helped with the stations.
UC Clermont Dean Gregory Sojka said having the kids out is his favorite part of the event.
The students also received a tree to plant before they left the campus and were entered into a raffle to win a bicycle and helmet.
Linda Romine, with the Army Corps of Engineers, helped educate students about water safety at the event.
“I think this is the most awesome thing,” Romine said about the Earth Day celebration. “They are giving kids the opportunity to learn and meet people in the field. We appreciate the opportunity to get out and talk about water safety.”
The students enjoyed the festivities as well.
Chloe Crooks, a second grader, said the field trip was fun.
“I liked planting stuff and doing the scavenger hunt,” Crooks said.
Laura Holloway, a second grade teacher at the elementary school, said the students enjoyed the event.
“They definitely love the stations,” Holloway said. “We enjoy coming back every year.”
In addition to the activities with the students, the college also used Earth Day to plant trees to replace trees that had to be removed from the campus because of the Emerald Ash Borer.
The Earth Day committee and Cincinnati’s Taking Root Initiative worked together to plant 40 trees on the campus including Red Sunset Red Maple, Red Bud, American Elm, Black Gum, and other varieties.
For more information about Earth Day at UC Clermont, visit www.ucclermont.edu.