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Fest focuses on environment

April 29, 2002|BY JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

There was live music. College students played Frisbee. There was plenty of food.

Organizers of the 4th annual Earth Day-tona Fest hope that in between the music, Frisbee and food, their colleagues noticed the various environmental literature and the independent hydrogeologist speaking about West Virginia's water supply.

"At one point, they're going to get hungry and they're going to have to come over here," said environmental science major Nicole Vernon.

Vernon is a member of the Shepherd Environmental Organization, the group that organized Saturday's fest on the Shepherd College campus.

Last year's event was at Morgan Grove Park.

While there was a bigger crowd last year, the event had a party atmosphere with students bringing alcohol so it was difficult to promote environmental involvement, Vernon said.

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This year, alcohol was prohibited and there were fewer people, Vernon said. About 70 people were playing or resting on the lawn listening to bands that volunteered their services for the cause.

In the fest's early hours, there were more people perusing the booths set up by groups such as the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Jefferson County Watersheds Coalition and the Potomac Valley Audubon Society, said Vernon and Shea Gaydosh, SEO vice president.

Freshman Kim Hart, 18, said she picked up "a bunch of maps and brochures" that she planned to read.

Hart said she'd also talked to some of her schoolmates about environmental issues that day, trying to educate them.

Graduate Justin Oldenburg, 23, of Shepherdstown, said keynote speaker Rick Eades may have been "preaching to the choir" when he spoke about the importance of protecting the state's water resources.

Most of the event's attendees already supported environmental causes, Oldenburg said. Many students go home for the weekend, so they missed out on Saturday's educational and entertainment event, Oldenburg said.

"It never works that way. They're not interested," Oldenburg said.

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