News Post

Student-Led Earth Day Celebration Includes Expert Talks, Hands-On Environmental Activities

This year, the Upper School is holding its inaugural Earth Day celebration dedicated to learning about environmental issues and empowering participants to produce real change.

This student-driven, day-long celebration is a collaboration between the Upper School Go Green Club, led by faculty advisors Keith Bemer and Callie Gropp '03, and students in Callie Gropp's Upper School history course, American Environmental History. Students worked to create a shared vision for the day, and then organized guest speakers and crafted lesson plans for off-campus opportunities which would allow the WT Upper School community to learn about environmental issues, connect with nature, and participate in the creation of more sustainable environments.

In the spirit of WT's City as Our Campus program, students connected with and invited local environmental organizations and individuals to come to WT. Environmental experts and advocates from the Greater Pittsburgh area will speak to the Upper School community in the morning and share information at booths in the afternoon. Students will participate in hands-on activities, ranging from farming to landscape photography, at local parks and community gardens, on the river, and at WT.

"This day is also about creating a space for all of us to think about...the meaning we embed in the word 'environment,' to nurture our connection with one another and with the environments within and around Pittsburgh, and to identify meaningful actions we can take to foster healthy relationships with the natural world – for ourselves and for all people," notes Gropp. "When we can see that environmental issues are also issues that intersect with race, class, and gender then we can explore new pathways toward sustainability."

The Earth Day celebration will take place this Friday, April 21.

WT Earth Day Logo

Many thanks to our Guest Speakers and Off-Campus Opportunity Hosts:

Guest Speakers:
  • Dr. Albert Presto, Carnegie Mellon University for Atmospheric Particle Studies

  • Bill Bartlett, Congregational Organizer with PA Interfaith Impact Network; Western PA Director, Action United

  • Fossil Free Pitt Coalition

  • Fred Kraybill, Team Leader for the Point Breeze Division of Solarize Allegheny

  • Dr. Jared Cohon, Carnegie Mellon University Professor, Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Engineering and Public Policy; President Emeritus of Carnegie Mellon University

  • Dr. John Pollock, Professor of Neuroscience at Duquesne University

  • Mo Dawley, Senior Librarian at Carnegie Mellon University's Artists' Book Collection

  • Dr. Shannah Tharp-Gilliam, Homewood Children's Village (HCV)

  • Ward Allebach, University of Pittsburgh Department of Geology and Environmental Science

Off-Campus Opportunity Hosts:
  • Allegheny CleanWays
  • Borland Green
  • brADDock LOVE
  • Freeman Farm
  • Friends of the Riverfront
  • Frick Park
  • Schenley Park
  • Phipps Conservatory