Students bag trash at a previous Mississippi River Cleanup.

April 19 Mississippi River Cleanup kicks off UST’s Earth Week celebration

The University of St. Thomas will begin its annual Earth Week celebration with the Mississippi River Cleanup from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 19.

The St. Thomas Green Team, in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, takes responsibility the twice-a-year cleanup of the east bank of the Mississippi River from the Lake Street-Marshall Avenue bridge down to the Ford Parkway bridge.

Participation in the cleanup is a great way to celebrate Earth Week, the environment and the Mississippi River. Turn the day into a family outing, a random act of kindness, a community-service project or just to enjoy the beauty of the area and being outdoors. People of all ages are invited to join Green Team members at the World War I monument at the intersection of Summit Avenue and Mississippi River Boulevard – rain or shine. Bring gloves, rakes, good shoes and enthusiasm. Bags, gloves, and refreshments will be provided for participants who want them.

For more information about the event, e-mail Green Team Co-President Chelsea Grolla.

Sponsors of the cleanup are the UST Green Team, Physical Plant and Recycling Team, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Adopt-a-River Program.

Other Earth Week events

2 p.m. Sunday, April 20
The Undergraduate Student Government and the Green Team will host the construction of a sculpture made of recyclables.

St. Thomas’ Green Team, Engineers for a Sustainable World, and Beta Beta Beta biology honor society will salvage recyclable items recovered from UST trash, and everyone’s invited to build a sculpture with the materials they’ve found. To participate, come to the lawn just west of Murray-Herrick Campus Center, adjacent to Foley Plaza.

Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22
The theme of today’s events is "Sustainable St. Thomas." During the "convo hour," between 11:45 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., student organizations will present an info fair in Foley Plaza, explaining their sustainability efforts and offering opportunities for involvement. Organic and sustainable food options will be provided by the UST Food Service, and there will be giveaways and games, too. Tommy Award winner Dejen Tesfagiorgis and his jazz threesome entertains.

"Homegrown: A Green Team Symposium on Foods" begins at 6:30 p.m. in the 3M Auditorium of Owens Science Hall. Among the speakers are Dr. Albert ("Bud") Markhart III, professor of horticultural science at the University of Minnesota; R. Dennis Olson, senior policy analyst for the Minneapolis-based Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy‘s (IATP) Trade and Agriculture Project; and Dr. David Wallinga, director of the Food and Health Program at IATP. IATP works locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm and trade systems. Symposium organizers invite you to come early for some free chili and other refreshments, along with a performance by the Show’d Up Band.

BEAST, the St. Thomas group of bicycle enthusiasts, will present its second annual "Lubeotomy" event over the convo hour on the St. Paul campus quadrangle. Bring your bike, tandem or unicycle for a free checkup and tuneup for the season.   Contact Warren Gall of BEAST if you want to learn more about bike rides.

Thursday, April 24
The theme of today’s events is "Sustainable St. Paul." During the " convo hour," between 11:45 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., community organizations will present an info fair in Foley Plaza, explaining their sustainability efforts and offering opportunities for involvement. Organic and sustainable food options will be provided by the UST Food Service, and there will be more giveaways, drawings, games and prizes. Come hear the Show’d Up Band perform.

BEAST will run another " Lubeotomy" event and launch a bike-share program over the convo hour on the St. Paul campus quadrangle.

"Taking the Next Step" is the topic of the final of three "Great Conversations on Sustainability and Care of the Environment" from 4 to 6 p.m. in the third-floor lounge of Murray-Herrick Campus Center.   This session will examine positive steps the St. Thomas community can take to help create a more sustainable world. Award-winning community videos and other creative expressions of our community’s sustainability efforts will be presented. For further information, call the Office for Mission, (651) 962-5200.

Environmental studies majors and environmental advocacy group Friends of the Boundary Waters will give a presentation on recent sulfide mining proposals in Northern Minnesota at 6 p.m. in Room 106, McNeely Hall. Sulfide mining involves the removal of small amounts of copper and nickel from sulfide-bearing rocks. The waste from this process can generate large amounts of sulfuric acid and toxic metals once it is exposed to air and rainwater. The group will discuss the potentially serious risks this type of mining can have on the environment and the health of communities in Minnesota. The group will also discuss actions that concerned citizens can take. Refreshments will be provided. Questions? Contact Lynsey Miron.