Students, faculty, and administrators of Washington College will participate in the annual Earth Day project and Casey Time activity this year on April 19.
"Unlike past Earth Days, this one is all environmental projects involving the community as well," said student coordinator Sarah Bell.
Activities will begin Sunday at 9 a.m. with marsh grass planting along the Chester River by the Hynson Ringgold House. Meanwhile, another group will begin repairing the Pickering Creek Nature Center. Later in the day, trees will be planted along the Queenstown stretch of the Chester River, followed by a beach clean-up at Turner's Creek. After the day's hard-work, volunteers are invited back to the Washington College Boathouse for a barbecue.
In the past, although it has had a theme of environmental protection, Earth Day's emphasis has been taken away from the service aspect of "healing the earth." It is the intention of this year's planning committee to reiterate the fact that the earth is what Earth Day is all about. In addition to planting and cleaning, volunteers will have the chance to paint bird houses and recycling bins as well as helping with gardening. The day's events will also include a learning trip on a Skipjack to experience the Chester River firsthand.
Eugene and Betty-Brown Casey, for whom several buildings and the Earth Day clean-up project Casey Time are named, have been an inspiration since its onset several years ago. Mrs. Casey is an alumna of the class of 1947. Her husband was a highly successful business leader who became a major philanthropist.
"Their care for this college is omnipresent about campus," said director of Alumni Affairs Pat Trams.
The Caseys' gifts to students include the Casey Swim Center, the O'Neill Literary House, scholarship funds, opera excursions, the Casey Academic Center, and, of course, Casey Time, inspired by an idea of Mrs. Casey. There is a bronze bust of Eugene Casey outside of the Casey Academic Center Forum that is inscribed with the words "Never to be Forgotten." At the dedication of the building, Mrs. Casey said that she hoped her husband's example of giving to others would be honored by students with acts of service to their community. This was the inspiration for the student-organized day of service that is Earth Day.
Betty Brown Casey continues her careful watch over this campus as a member emeritus of the Board of Visitors and Governors. Her son Douglas is a former trustee, and his wife Ancha is a current member.
Students are encouraged to participate in Earth Day and Casey Time this year. Anyone interested in more information should contact Carolyn Fuss at x.8921 or Sarah Bell at x.8610.