ECOS Earth Day celebration to feature smoothie bike, Native American drum ceremony

Partly cloudy skies, mild temperature, and a slim chance of rain Thursday make for perfect weather to celebrate Earth Day with the Ecology Center of the Siskiyous, Southern Oregon University’s environmental resource center, and learn about campus and community organizations and their efforts to help the environment.

The event kicks off Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Stevenson Union courtyard with information about environmental and sustainability efforts, a showcase of Rogue Valley co-ops, an interactive eco-art project, a smoothie bike, acoustic music, and a Native American drum ceremony.

Organizer Winston Friedman is especially looking forward to the smoothie bike and turnout it will bring as people walk by the courtyard and become engaged in the event. The stationary bike will be connected to a blender and participants will be able to blend their own fruity concoction by peddling away.

“A fun way to get a smoothie – a different way of thinking,” smiled Friedman.

The festivities continue at night in Diversions in the Stevenson Union basement starting at 6 p.m. and ending at 8:30 p.m. The evening of fun, films, and free food will be provided by the Ashland Food Co-op. Area co-operatives will be present to tell their stories, answer questions, and sponsor gift giveaways throughout the event in between short, entertaining films about co-ops all around the world.

“I hope all the students at SOU are aware of all the programs at the event, have fun, and learn what co-ops are all about,” said Friedman.

About 30 organizations will be tabling and participating at the event, and organizers are expecting a good turnout as people come and go throughout the day and evening; taking in all of what ECOS and its partners have to offer.

ECOS has a strong presence both on and off campus. The student-led organization maintains their own community garden, organized a free bike repair and loan system through the “SO, U Bike” program, and is heavily involved in the campus recycling program.

While Earth Day is one of the biggest events sponsored and organized by ECOS, there are several more opportunities to become involved before the end of the year.

All students are encouraged to stop by their office in SU105 and learn what the program is all about, participate in their bike rides around town, become a member of the Relay for Life team, join them in their Apr. 28 Garden Party, or contribute to their dorm recycling effort at the end of the year.

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