At 12:30 p.m. today, Thursday, April 21, Ecopax will be kicking off its Earth day festivities. Earth Day is actually this Friday, which falls on the same day as Good Friday this year. Since students are off of school, Ecopax is celebrating early.

Hannah Eberly, a sophomore nursing major and the leader of Ecopax, defines the mission of the group as “promot[ing] environmental sustainability on campus and among students at Goshen College.”

However, with this year’s Earth Day festivities, Ecopax is taking on the city of Goshen in a broader sense. This year’s event boasts between 20 and 30 volunteers, most of which are not regular members of Ecopax. Eberly said, “In this event, we’re trying to work with the community around us and educate future generations.”

Two groups of second grade students, one from Chamberlain Elementary and one from Parkside Elementary, are coming to campus. Ecopax will do a variety of activities with them, including face painting, recycling games, sack races, and hula hooping. The students will also have the opportunity to decorate bags that were donated by Maple City Market. These bags will then be returned to Maple City Market and will be available for customers to use.

Many other organizations will join Ecopax for these events. Merry Lea will teach kids fossil identification, and the Elkhart Environmental Center, Middlebury Parks Department and the Environmental Corporations will also be involved.

Eberly and Austin Van, a first-year, have been working on this event for a month. Volunteers have been working to fulfill their respective roles for about a week.

One of the most unique parts of the day’s festivities will be a performance of Dr. Seuss’s children’s book, "The Lorax," put on by a troupe of GC students. In this famed story, the narrator comes to a town in which the natural landscape has been devastated by the processes of deforestation and industrialization. A strange creature called the Lorax stands up for the trees, which are  unable to speak for themselves. This story will be performed for the second graders, but college students are welcome to attend. The story will take about half an hour and begins at 1:30 p.m. in the Union Gym.

Additionally, AVI will give away free parsley and chive seeds for students to plant their own gardens.