Green Highlands Celebrates Third Annual Earth Day in Paulding
Earth Day was a very big day on the Paulding Campus this year, as Green Highlands, a student organization that promotes environmental stewardship, hosted its third annual event on the square in Dallas. At least 250 people attended, the highest turnout to date. Besides faculty, staff, students and administrators, Paulding County Commission Chairman David Austin read an Earth Day proclamation and keynote speaker Henry Slack, manager for the Environmental Protection Agency, provided an overview on the history and mission of the EPA and tips on ways everyone can make the world a greener place. Slack himself rides a bicycle eight miles to work everyday. Other dignitaries attending included Gary Gulledge,Paulding County sherriff; Tommy Leonard, executive director of Keep Paulding Beautiful; Mary Carol Sheffield, coordinator for the Paulding County UGA Cooperative Extension; Chief Mike Earwood and several members of Paulding County Fire and Rescue; Seth Coker, representative from Sen. Saxby Chambliss' office; and Amy Turner, representative from Sen. Johnny Isakson's office.
Corporate sponsors included Starbucks, who donated coffee; United Parcel Service, which brought the hydraulic hybrid delivery truck driven by Brian Wolfschlag; Home Depot; Hardy Ford, which brought a hybrid vehicle for display; and Sam's Club. Booths from sponsors were displayed in the parking lot, as were displays from Elrod's Garden Center, which supplied juniper topiaries and other trees for the event. The UGA Master Gardeners provided information about water conservation and composting. Spreading Oaks Farms displayed its organic produce. Creekside Pines donated seedlings for attendees to plant in honor of Earth Day.
Live music was provided by Taylor Stringfield and the Sons of Alice, and Johnny's Barbecue supplied hot sandwiches for lunch. Several students won Starbucks gift cards for bringing in the most recycling in a contest devised by Green Highlands faculty advisor Alexandra MacMurdo.
MacMurdo, who is a lecturer of communication, said, "Without the passion and energy of my students, this event simply could not have been accomplished at the scale we achieved this year. I'm proud of them for their commitment to and execution. Most notably, I'd like to recognize Austin Wolfschlag, vice president of Green Highlands Paulding, and Dave Martinez, president of Brother2Brother, for all their hard work."