Living Green

Apr 22, 2011 9:47 PM by Ariel Wesler

Cal Poly students plant trees for Earth Day

Cal Poly students celebrated Earth Day by planting trees today on campus.

It is just one of several student-led events that have been taking place all week long as part of the university's Earth Week Celebration. The goal, of course, to focus on how we can all be more environmentally friendly.

It's a traditional Earth Day effort.

"In this kind of work, I am only surrounding myself with passionate, inspiring , empowered people, and that's one of the things that I like most about it," said Yamina Pressler, a sophomore majoring in Environmental Management Major.

A team of Cal Poly students went to work planting native oak trees on campus along Brizzolara Creek. Most of them have majors focusing on agriculture and the environment, so they're used to the manual labor. We even ran into Miss Earth San Luis Obispo, Christie Wilson, who's participated in many different green projects.

"There's no place I'd rather be than out getting sweaty and helping the earth," Wilson said.

Unlike protests, students here feel like their making a physical difference, deeply rooted in concerns about the Earth's future.

"Politics you know, you've got bureaucracy and red tape. This, nothing is holding us back. We just get to put all our energy into it," said Freshman Kevin Bertolero.

All that energy adds up to a rewarding experience.

"It'd be cool to come back and see something that you planted on your own," said Rosie Harris, a junior majoring in English.

Something that could stay standing long after these students graduate.

The first Earth Day took place 41 years ago. It was started by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as a day for Americans to speak out about the environmental problems they faced and force the issue on the national agenda. Eight months later, Congress created the Environmental Protection Agency.

An estimated 20 million Americans turned out for the first Earth Day in 1970. Today, it is celebrated by more than 500 million people around the world.

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