By Monique Porter
North Lake College’s Central Campus hosted its annual Earth Day celebration April 17 in the Courtyard, an event that the college has observed for nearly 15 years.
Recognized internationally every year on April 22 in 175 countries, Earth Day events exhibit support for environmental protection and sustainability. NLC campuses have committed to safeguarding the planet by pursuing and accomplishing the development of ongoing projects and structures that meet the guidelines of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
During this year’s celebration, Dr. Herlinda Glasscock, retired NLC president, joined Interim President Christa Slejko in receiving recognition for NLC’s third LEED-certified project. The Silver level certification, regarded as one level above certified, was nominated for the Student Life Center. Obtaining another LEED certification underscores a commitment by the NLC faculty, staff and students to continue to make every effort toward sustaining a healthy environment.
Several local organizations and businesses joined in the Earth Day celebration at NLC. Keep Irving Beautiful, a non-profit, grassroots organization that manages cleaning and beautification projects around the city, were included in the celebration.
The Irving Water Utilities Department was present to distribute education and suggestions about conserving water, and displayed an illustration of the damage that can be caused by the disposal of cooking oil in sink and drainage pipes. Many vendors came out with sustainable products for purchase, such as soaps, hand creams, clothing, accessories and drinking glasses made from recycled bottles.
Although sustainability and conservation education are the prime focus of the Earth Day celebration, NLC also incorporated entertainment, food and fun. Attendees enjoyed performances by the Dallas Black Dance Theater II, Contemporary Ballet Dallas, the Danielle Georgiou Dance Group, Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet and NLC’s dance students led by Brenda Parker-Braswell. Live music was provided by the NLC Jazz Band during the event, as well as a complimentary barbecue lunch served by Bread of Heaven catering company.
One of the most popular features of the celebration was the Chalk-It-Up contest. The NLC Art Club (WEOTA) hosted its second annual competition. Each individual or group designed a block of the Courtyard’s sidewalk in chalk with artwork that was symbolic of what Earth Day meant to them.
Heather Hoskins, president of WEOTA, said, “We have a really strong art department and this contest is a great way to show our spirit.”
The first place winners of the group category were Lauren Gibson, Charmaine Keane, Umida Palmer and Liz San Juan for their piece titled, “Down the Drain.”
Saurab Kaurwar won first place in the individual category for his contribution titled “Seed.” (See all five winners pictured below.)
In addition to the festivities outside, the NLC art gallery was adorned with several pieces that represented various styles, materials and textures reminiscent of the diversity of nature.
Overall, the Earth Day celebration at NLC proved to be entertaining, informative and fun, and it gets bigger and better each year.