USC Upstate Will Host 2020 Spartanburg Earth Day Festival

February 19, 2020 at 2:39 pm

The University of South Carolina Upstate is pleased to announce it will host the 2020 Spartanburg Earth Day Festival (SEDF) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 18. Participants of all ages will have an opportunity to enjoy free, family-friendly activities, exhibits and live entertainment, and sample some delicious fare while they learn about the environment and conservation.

The Spartanburg festival, now in its fifth year, is being held for the first time on USC Upstate’s campus and in conjunction with the annual worldwide celebration of Earth Day, which began in 1970 as a campaign to raise awareness about environmental issues in the U.S.

“We are incredibly excited to host the Spartanburg Earth Day Festival,” said Dr. Jeannie Chapman, dean of USC Upstate’s College of Science and Technology and director of SEDF. “It’s kind of fitting in a way that Earth Day took root on college and university campuses across the country 50 years ago. It feels like a homecoming of sorts. And it’s one more way that we can collaborate with and deepen our connection to the community.”

Chapman said USC Upstate’s lush 300-acre campus will be the perfect backdrop for Earth Day festivities.

The university was recently named a Tree Campus USA for the 11th consecutive year by the Arbor Day Foundation due to its dedication to campus forestry management and environmental stewardship. USC Upstate also boasts a community garden located near its Health Education Complex, a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Stewardship Silver certified facility, and its 12-acre Susan Jacobs Arboretum.

“It really fits into the larger picture of the initiatives we have on campus,” she said.

Leading up to SEDF, the community will be able to participate in three “Countdown” events, including:

-An information session about plastic pollution and sea turtles with Kelly Thorvalson, conservation programs manager at the S.C. Aquarium, from 7 to 8:15 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31, at the Spartanburg Headquarters Library, 151 S. Church St., Spartanburg, S.C. 29306.

-An information session with Dr. Jack Turner, director of USC Upstate’s Watershed Ecology Center, from 7 to 8:15 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7 at the Spartanburg Headquarters Library. Turner will share details about our vital watershed, the value of aquatic environments and the need to be caretakers of our resources.

-The No Man’s Land Film Festival from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 16, at the George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics, 160 E. St. John St., Spartanburg, S.C. 29306. The films will highlight action-oriented women who love adventure and “have a desire to experience their passions and environments through a uniquely feminine lens.”

“We’ve been looking for opportunities to grow the festival’s footprint in terms of venue space, publicity and attendance,” said Joyce Harrison, former director of SEDF and current planning team member. “We believe this partnership with USC Upstate will accomplish all of those goals. Enthusiasm is high and new ideas are being formed. The possibilities are limitless.”

About SEDF

SEDF grew out of Earth Day awareness events held at the Spartanburg Headquarters Library in 2014 and 2015. In 2016, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spartanburg, in collaboration with local environmentally conscious organizations, expanded those efforts and implemented a festival format focused on immersing the community in a range of fun, experiential and educational activities. USC Upstate joined the effort as a full partner in 2019.

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