April 6, 2016, Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.—Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) will join communities across the world in celebrating Earth Day 2016 with a series of activities that engage students, faculty and community members with the institution’s sustainability efforts.
MCCC’s celebration kicks off on Monday, April 18 with the grand opening of the college’s Sustainability and Innovation Hub, located 140 College Drive in Pottstown. The opening marks the completion of the multiphase Riverfront Academic and Heritage Center project, which transformed a former energy substation and three-acre Brownfield site into a state-of-the-art center for STEM education, conservation and recreation. A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 1:30 p.m., followed by tours of the Sustainability and Innovation Hub, as well as tours of the Schuylkill River Heritage Area’s Interpretative Center.
Prior to ceremony, MCCC’s West Campus will host a Sustainability Fair in its South Hall, 101 College Drive, from noon-1 p.m. The fair will highlight many of the College’s green practices and STEM-related academic programming.
MCCC’s observation of Earth Day continues on Wednesday, April 20 at noon with a Sustainability Festival in the Advanced Technology Center at the Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell. The festival will feature sustainable student and College exhibits, as well as information and activities from green vendors and community organizations. Assistant Professor of Biology Jerry Coleman will also offer a walking tour of a proposed trail route that will pass through MCCC’s Central Campus, weather permitting.
Following the Sustainability Festival on Wednesday, April 20, MCCC’s Student Environmental Sustainability Club will host a discussion with Montgomery County Recycling Coordinator Veronica Harris in Science Center room 308 from 2-3 p.m.
During Earth Day events at both campuses, MCCC’s Ceramics Club, in collaboration with the Inter-Faith Housing Alliance in Ambler, will be selling handmade bowls as part of its Empty Bowls Project—an international grassroots effort to raise awareness in the fight to end hunger. Individuals who purchase a bowl—or who bring their own bowl—can receive a 25-cent discount off the purchase of soup in MCCC’s cafeterias.
Since signing the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007, sustainability has become a core value at Montgomery County Community College and is incorporated into the institution’s strategic plan, core curriculum, and in everyday best practices as they relate to facilities management, campus operations and transportation. A team of faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members comprise the Climate Commitment Advisory Council, which guides MCCC’s sustainability efforts toward attaining carbon neutrality by 2050.
- Alana J. Mauger